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There's Healthy Competition Between Me, Yusuf And Virat: Raina

Bangalore, Feb 13 (PTI) It has been a roller-coaster ride for Suresh Raina during his six years in international cricket.But if he gets a chance in the playing XI, the talented batsman wants to get
PTI February 13, 2011 14:13 IST
PTI
Bangalore, Feb 13 (PTI) It has been a roller-coaster ride for Suresh Raina during his six years in international cricket.But if he gets a chance in the playing XI, the talented batsman wants to get his mojo back after an indifferent last few months with the willow.Going by indications, Raina probably will find it difficult to make the cut in the playing XI, except for injuries to any regular batsman.

After Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan almost cemented their places in the XI with impressive performances in the five-match One-Day series in South Africa, it will be tough decision for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to accomodate the talented UP southpaw.

"It is good that we have a healthy competition in the team between me, Virat (Kohli) and Yusuf (Pathan) but whenever I am on field, my main focus always is to win matches and contribute for the team," Raina said during an open media session here.

"I generally bat at No 6 and No 7 and whenever you bat these positions you have to play big shots. I am scoring 25-30 but I know I can do more. I know I can deliver. I am looking forward to score big runs (in the World Cup)."Raina who has been found out susceptible against the short pitched stuff dismissed popular notion that South African quicks sorted him out with rising deliveries.

"In South Africa, I was not getting out on short balls. I was getting runs but not big scores. I am working on game,trying to focus on my batting and do the basics right," Raina defended himself.

With the World Cup being held in the sub-continent, there is huge pressure on Dhoni and his men to lift the trophy after a hiatus of 28 years, but Raina said the only thing which is presently in his mind is his own performance.

"Playing any series in India is always pressure but I don't think there is additional pressure on me. As a player,it is important to ignore pressure and concentrate on your job in hand."He didn't hide that playing World Cup will be a huge opportunity.

"It is a big opportunity for me. It is a dream for any cricketer to play in the World Cup," he said.Asked about his role in the team as a part-time spinner,he said: "As a bowler, I am required to chip in with couple of overs and if possible get a few wickets."

 The cash-rich Indian Premier League brought about a lot of instant fame, money and adulation for the young Indian cricketers and Raina said it is important to remain grounded and emulate the likes of Sachin Tendular and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who handled these things with humility."It is important to remain pretty humble, stay focusedand learn from Sachin (Tendulkar), (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni .  

It is important to be disciplined and pay respect to the seniors and the game," he said.Even though he was not part of the 2007 World Cup team,Raina feels that the they have learnt a lot from that disastrous experience.

"We learnt a lot from that World Cup. We have learnt that we can't take small teams lightly. We are playing our first game against Bangladesh and it is important for us to get the intensity going."

India will start their World Cup campaign against Bangladesh on February 19 in Dhaka and the Dhoni-led side would look to avenge their loss four years ago in the West Indies which put paid to their title dreams. PTI