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Raina finds a guiding star in Ganguly

Batsman seeks former captain’s mentorship to regain form

Suresh Raina had been a mainstay in India’s ODI batting line-up for the last few years, received a jolt when he was left out of the Asia Cup squad following a spade of low scores.

The left-hander decided to use this time for self-assessment and seek a guiding hand that could lead him back in form ahead of the World Twenty20. He found the perfect mentor in former India captain and left-handed batsman, Sourav Ganguly.

"Ganguly gave me confidence and told me to work on my strength. He reminded me how well I had done in ODIs before and told me to play the same aggressive game that made me successful,” Raina said of Ganguly’s advice to a leading India daily. “It does feel good when such a great player has so many good things to say about your game," Raina said.

While admitting the disappointment of being dropped from the team, Raina also drew motivation from the situation to improve himself for the 20-over World Championship.

"This T20 World Cup is going to be the stepping stone for the 50-over World Cup in a year's time,” he said. “If we do well and go on to win it here, it's going to be a huge boost to our confidence. As for me, if I do well and have a good IPL after that, it will help me come back into reckoning for ODIs."

Talking about his different roles in T20s and one-day games, Raina said batting high in the order in the shortest format gives him more time at the crease.

"In T20 cricket, more often than not, I have gone out to bat early. It has allowed me the time to get settled and play some crucial innings. That's something I would like to do in one-dayers as well, as and when I get the chance again."

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Report: Bangladesh vs India (Women) – 1st T20I

Raj, Naidu hand India comfortable win in series opener

India Women kicked off the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh Women with a 16-run win on Sunday. Skipper Mithali Raj (55*) and left-arm spinner Sravanthi Naidu (4/9) starred in India's victory at the Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium.

After electing to bat first, Raj opened the innings for the visitors. But she lost partner L Kumari with just three runs on the board. However, Poonam Raut, who then joined the India captain, kept her company till the end of the innings. In an unbroken 98-run stand, the pair helped India Women to 101 for one in 20 overs.

With the new ball, Shikha Pandet gave India Women their first breakthrough on the first over itself. And 35 runs later, Poonam Yadav ended the second-wicket partnership by running out Sanjida Islam. Senior pacer Jhulan Goswami then followed up with the wicket of Ayasha Rahman and Fargana Hoque in the same over, leaving the opposition on 48 for four. Although Rumana Ahmed toiled to put up some resistance, she received little support from the other end. Naidu ran through the rest of the line-up finishing with figures of 3-0-9-4. Meanwhile, Gouher Sultana claimed two wickets to help the India eves bowl Bangladesh out on the last ball of their innings.

Player of the Match: SK Naidu for her four-wicket haul

Brief scores: India Women 101/1 in 20 overs (M Raj 55*, P Raut 42*) beat Bangladesh Women 85 all-out in 20 overs (R Ahmed 21, S Naidu 4/9)