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Self-belief & right approach critical: Raina

india Updated: Jun 04, 2011 00:11 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times
N Ananthanarayanan

Among India's finest finishers in limited-overs over the last few years, Suresh Raina has been given the responsibility of getting the job started well on this Caribbean tour.

The left-handed batsman, who stepped in after Gautam Gambhir pulled out due to injury, is hoping the team will pull off victory in the limited-overs leg of the tour, starting with the one-off T20 game at Queen's Park Oval on Saturday.

There was steady downpour on Friday morning, forcing the West Indies into the indoor nets and delaying India's nets session. The overcast sky left a question mark over a prompt start to the tour.

Raina backed the young bunch to come good having done consistently well in the Indian Premier League before leaving for the West Indies. "It is a young group but they have done well in the IPL as well as first-class cricket. When you know you are the world champions, there is additional responsibility to do well. We have to have self-belief and approach each game the right way."

He also sees an opportunity, especially in the five-match ODI series staring on Monday, to cement his spot in the longer version of the game, having suffered some hiccups, including the weakness against short deliveries, especially during the South Africa series before the World Cup.

The stand-in skipper was relieved that Chris Gayle would not line-up with the opposition but the West Indies camp, both coach, Ottis Gibson, and skipper, Darren Sammy, steered clear of the issue that is raging in Caribbean cricketing circles.

India's new coach, Duncan Fletcher, believes that despite the absence of senior players, the squad has the depth to succeed against the modest West Indies. He did not feel the non-stop schedule would pull down the players.

"One of the reasons I took up this job was there is lot of depth in Indian cricket. We have to make sure the players maintain a positive attitude.

"When you miss players of the calibre (of MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh) it can affect the side. But I look at it very positively, on how they will perform against this opposition."