The Telegraph
Sunday , March 23 , 2014
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Need to stay positive, says Raina

Dhaka: Suresh Raina is riding the wave of feel-good factor following his superb showing against Pakistan on Friday. This has been a comeback of sorts for the left-hander after being dropped from the one-day squad.

More than individual performance, it is the team’s showing in the World T20 that is of paramount importance to Raina. He insists that controlling emotions will be the key against West Indies on Sunday.

“We just have to go and play positive cricket. We have done well in the last two games (the warm-up match against England and World T20 opener). We have to make sure we play our best game,” he said on Saturday.

“You know West Indies are big hitters and you just need to control your emotions, control your game plan as to what you are going to do against (Chris) Gayle or (Dwayne) Smith or (Dwayne) Bravo. We have played against them before, you just have to go there and give your best. We have to be in a positive frame of mind throughout…” he said. “We have done well against Pakistan and our plan against West Indies will be to try and continue that momentum. Spinners will be the key for us, especially after the way we bowled yesterday against Pakistan.

“West Indies have a lot of players who are capable of hitting sixes but they don’t have an idea about how to rotate the strike against spinners by taking singles and twos… So it will be important to put pressure on them at the start. The win has set the momentum for us. We are looking good at the moment and just need to be positive.”

Raina didn’t agree that the presence of Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree gave the West Indies an advantage. “We have (Amit) Mishra, who bowled really well in the last match. (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja too have been bowling well. But in T20, it all depends on who is better on that particular day and what you do after winning the toss.

“Pakistan had (Saeed) Ajmal and West Indies have Narine. In a short format like this, you have to plan every two overs as to whom to attack and whom not to.

“When you get a start, it’ll be good for the batsmen. There is some turn for the spinners and you have to get under the ball to hit. You will have to rotate between overs No. 7 and 11 and if you can hit a loose ball for a four or a six, that’s the ideal plan against spinners,” explained Raina.

The break away from the national side allowed him to work on his game with Sourav Ganguly and the results are just showing. “I realised what I had done earlier, I analysed my game and what can be done in the upcoming games… I worked hard at the nets and played a few domestic ties. I hope I will do well in the coming matches as well.

“I spoke to Sourav over phone… he is a legend. He just talked about my footwork… I am looking forward to working with him again.”