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Cape Town T20 hero Suresh Raina says thank you to Virat Kohli. This is why

Suresh Raina played an important knock of 43 and also picked one wicket in India’s seven-run wicket over South Africa on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2018 10:19 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Cape Town
Suresh Raina,Virat Kohli,India vs SOuth Africa
Suresh Raina was named Man-of-the-Match in the third and deciding Twenty20 between India and South Africa at Cape Town on Saturday.(BCCI)

Suresh Raina, who was Man-of-the-Match in the third and deciding T20 on Saturday, felt that the series was extremely important for him as he hoped to make a comeback to the Indian ODI team and find a slot in the middle-order.

“I worked really hard over the last two years. Each and every session I was doing in the gym or on the field, I was just hoping when I am going to play for India again. God has been kind. Thanks to my wife, she really made me believe that I can go out and wear the India jersey again,” he said.

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Raina thanked Kohli for allowing him to blossom at No.3.

“The way Virat led the team over the last two-and-a-half months, he showed that he cares for each and every person. Batting at No.3, he has done brilliantly in T20 cricket but he gave me the opportunity to bat there and license to go after the bowlers and attack. He showed the faith in me,” said the middle-order batsman.

The Uttar Pradesh batsman has done well in the ODIs in the past and as India struggle to find someone to man a couple of slots in the middle-order, Raina looks the best bet. He feels the forthcoming T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka will be crucial.

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“This series was very important for me. From here on, we will play in Sri Lanka and then IPL. We have a lot of matches coming up. I have been part of the World Cup before and I have won it (in 2011). I have done well at No.5. It is just a matter of couple more games and I can show that I can do well and come back in the ODIs.”

First Published: Feb 25, 2018 10:16 IST