Suresh Raina has been out of action for almost four months after an injury sustained during a Central Zone match at Indore in February this year.
But it hasn’t dampened the spirits of the 20-year-old cricketer who is preparing for the Twenty20 World Championship to be held in South Africa in September.
An aggressive left-hand batsman, Raina feels that some serious outings in the MRF Trophy matches at Bangalore next month will help him get back his rhythm.
The Hindustan Times caught up with the Indian Airlines assistant commercial manager during his brief stay in the Capital on Friday.
Have you recovered from the injury sustained in February?
I am fully fit now. Two months of fitness training in Mumbai and almost a month’s training in Delhi have given me a lot of confidence and I am feeling much stronger.
How have you planned your comeback?
I would be playing some matches in the MRF Trophy at Bangalore next month for my employers and I am confident I will get back in shape. <b1>
Right now, I am just knocking and doing some slip catching to improve my fitness.
Besides working on your fitness, what else did you do during the injury lay-off?
I kept watching the footage of India’s performance at the World Cup. I also watched India’s fascinating matches against South Africa in Ireland and how Yuvraj Singh helped India clinch the series.
Did you do something to improve your mental fitness too?
I read a couple of books Steve Waugh’s ‘Making of Champion’ and ‘Success of Joy’ by cueist Geet Sethi. Reading these books has made me mentally stronger. My friends and family gave me a lot of support and that’s why I have recovered so quickly.
What are your chances of getting selected in the Twenty20 side?
I have submitted my fitness certificate to Prof. Ratnakar Shetty and I am confident of getting selected.
In the shorter version of the game, one has to be very adjusting and energetic in all departments of the game and I find myself suitable for this purpose.
I enjoyed a good outing in India’s Twenty20 match against South Africa in December 2006. I do feel my experience in Twenty20 at the junior level last year will help me to deliver in South Africa.
Did you miss being out of the team for four months?
Yes, I did miss the action. But I kept talking to my seniors and friends in the team.
What is your opinion about state-mates RP Singh and Piyush Chawla?
It’s good to see that both are playing their parts quite nicely, especially Chawla, who proved his worth as a leggie in the just concluded series against South Africa.
Does domestic cricket help in reaching the top?
Yes, it helps a lot. But I do feel that our domestic cricket should be more competitive. Because when one makes the transition from domestic to international level, he finds the going tough. If we raise the standard of our cricket to that level, the players will find it easy to adjust at the international level.
How do you cope with criticism?
Sometimes it hurts. But most of time, criticism encourages you to do well.