I looked to enjoy the game: Raina
Bengaluru, Sept 1: Suresh Raina’s place in India’s Test XI has been under the scanner for a while now. With his contemporaries, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara, making a mark with big scores, the pressure just kept mounting on the southpaw. However, when he walked out to bat at Bengaluru, with India’s first innings floundering at 80 for four, Raina hit out the pressure with his natural aggressive game. He built a 99-run partnership with Virat Kohli and scored 55 runs in 90 balls.
At the media interaction after the day’s play, Raina spoke about how he approached his innings and what went through his mind when he walked out to bat with India under the pump.
On being caught behind for the second time in a row
It's unfortunate for me to get out twice in the same manner, I am very disappointed. Virat [Kohli] and myself had a good partnership and now he and Dhoni are batting well. Hopefully, we can put lot of runs on the board and make the next three days of the match interesting.
On whether it was a deliberate ploy to start with an attacking mindset
Not really. Whenever I got the ball in my area, I made sure I batted positively. That’s how I like to play even in Tests, but at the same time, I need to control my aggression, need to judge the line and length of the ball. I have done well in one-day, so hopefully, I will be better in Test cricket too.
On whether the transition from ODIs to Tests is difficult
It’s not so difficult. I have been playing Test cricket and getting better and better. I have been there, batting well at No.6 and No.7, but haven’t scored a big knock. When I get a chance again, I would like to do so.
On whether the pitch would change on Day 3
There wouldn't be a big change. They bowled well and the fielding was really tight – they must have saved some 30 to 40 runs. Hopefully, Virat and Dhoni will put out a good partnership on the third day morning and make sure that we have a good first session. We need a competitive total as the next three days are very crucial for us.
On whether it was a plan to attack Jeetan Patel
Virat asked me to stay calm and not try to hit big shots against Jeetan, because he felt that Kiwis might replace him if we did so. He asked me to push the score steadily, but not aggressively. But whenever I got the ball in my area, I played it to the covers. So, it was not a game plan to go big against Patel, but we were looking for the ball to come in our areas.
On whether there was pressure on him to perform
I’ve done well in domestic cricket and ODIs. There was no pressure to score big runs, and as always, I looked to enjoy the game. I didn’t do well in England and I didn't play well in last three Test matches, but I went back to domestic cricket, played a couple of matches, scored a double hundred and then played crucial knocks against Sri Lanka and did well in IPL. I have always played with seniors. Now that we have lot of young players, this is the time to score as many runs as I can and book my place in the side because there are lot of Test matches coming up.
On his mindset when walking out to bat with the score at 80 for four
I looked at the positive. Me and Virat just looked to score runs and not think anything else but a good partnership. [Trent] Boult and [Tim] Southee were bowling really well, so I looked to be positive and hang in there for a while.