It was a good team effort: Raina
An all-round performance by Yuvraj Singh complemented by some good teamwork helped India coast to a convincing victory against England at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in the first of the two Twenty20 Internationals. After the recent Test series loss, this win helped boost the team’s morale said Suresh Raina, who played a crucial 19-ball 26-run knock in the match here today. Unfortunately for the 26-year-old left-hand batsman who has often helped finish matches in the shorter versions of the game, he was run out when India were within sniffing distance of the target.
While speaking to bcci.tv after helping the Indian team get back to its winning ways, Raina looked back on the match and spoke about his team’s performance.
Excerpts from his interview:
On the match
It was good. If you look at the overall performance, we batted and bowled well. We have such good match-winning players in the side that even if we have to chase 180-190 runs that, if we get a good start, we can chase those down. It was a good team performance. The win was very important for us because if you look at it after the Test matches, this will give a good boost to the boys, given that there are five ODIs to be played against England in the near future and before that there is an important series for us against Pakistan. The morale in the dressing room is quite high right now.
On Yuvraj Singh’s performance
He did well. He bowled and batted well. He is a good finisher for the team and has done well, both while batting and bowling here today. He has done well for us in the ICC World Cup 2011 as well with the bat and the ball. I can say that from here we are building the 2015 World Cup team. So if we make sure that, whether we are playing Twenty20 or 50-over games, we believe in ourselves. Our cricket is improving, our fielding is very good [and] all are looking positive and are going in one direction, like we have been practicing for the last one-two days.
On what total they hoped to restrict the opposition to
We had not decided on restricting them to certain total per se. I think we came back strongly after the 12th over [Yuvraj took two wickets] and Ashoke Dinda and Piyush [Chawla] bowled well. [Ravichandran] Ashwin bowled [his] first over maiden, so there was pressure on them. And then Yuvi came and bowled well. And our fielding unit, Virat [Kohli], myself, Ajinkya [Rahane] and [Ravindra] Jadeja is very good. If we do well in the next match in Mumbai, it will be good for us going ahead.
On the openers setting the tone
Yes, we got a good start. If you are chasing something like 180-odd it is a important to have a good start in six overs and then you can accelerate later on. We have big middle-order batsmen like myself, [MS] Dhoni and Yuvraj [to come in and bat later]. We have a different role [to play] and Virat bats at No.3. Everyone knows their role. It is important that everyone knows their roles. All players are now settled in their mind; so that is a good sign.
There are a lot of meetings, [discussions with the] coach and video analyses. We watch the videos and we are planning; so I hope that in the coming matches we will do well.
On the plan while chasing
The toss was crucial. I am not saying that it depended on the toss but when you are playing in cold conditions [it is important], because while batting second there is a dew and it is not easy for the bowlers. Our plan was that even if [the target is] 150-160 we can chase it down. So, our plan was to ask them to bat if we win the toss. And the plan was successful and our bowlers bowled well in the middle.
On whether they had decided on going for big shots
It is important to back your skills and instinct and be positive during the 40 overs. People say that shots are played in Twenty20, but it is not like that. The bowlers are also very clever and bowl cleverly. They have variations like the slow bouncer, bouncer and Yorkers; so to convert that into fours and sixes is an art. We have good batsmen, world-class players in our team; so it is important that you believe [in your skills] and enjoy [the game].
On the planning after Yuvraj Singh got out
When a wicket falls, one should keep on rotating the strike. When I and Virat were batting we needed 65 runs from 60 balls, so then we built a small partnership. Then after Virat got out, [MS] Dhoni and I had a partnership. But then towards the end we needed 10 runs off more than 18 balls [but] unfortunately I was run out. I thought I would finish it and remain not out but that didn’t happen.