I knew I could win it: Raina
Colombo, July 28: It’s a new season for Team India and Suresh Raina has hit the ground running. After a brisk late charge in the first match that India won by 21 runs, the left-hander produced another gem with his willow to earn India a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Coming in at six after a couple of quick wickets, Raina scored an inspired unbeaten 65 runs off 45 balls to enable India to chase down a stiff 286.
Awarded the Man-of-the-match for his brilliant knock and a match-winning partnership of 92* with Irfan Pathan, Raina said he was confident of chasing down the total if he remained at the crease till the end.
Excerpts from his post-match TV interview.
We have seen innings like this from you before. It was one of your trademark innings.
In the last few years I’ve learnt how to bat in pressure situations when chasing a big target. Gautam Gambhir played really well and set the foundation for us. Then Irfan and I came and executed the plan well. I knew if I bat till the last ball, I can easily chase 286.
What was your gameplan on the slow wicket against the bowlers who were bowling slow?
I was just looking to play straight and avoid the cross-batted shots. I thought if I get the ball in my areas, I can play over covers or mid-wicket. I also made a conscious effort of running hard between the wickets and convert ones into twos, twos into threes. I think we did that very well.
Your comments on Irfan Pathan’s innings of 34* off 31 balls?
Irfan batted really well. He is a genuine batsman for us and with him in the side, we also play with five bowlers. He can bowl 10 overs and score 40-odd crucial runs for us.
Has playing T20 cricket given you the confidence of chasing down such stiff targets?
In T20 I generally bat at No.3 and in ODIs I bat at 6 or 7. Both the formats are totally different. In the ODIs I have learnt how to bat in the middle overs.