Want more chances to prove myself in Tests: Suresh Raina
"I have not been given enough chances to prove my calibre as a Test cricketer. You can’t judge a player on the basis of just one match after a hectic series of one-day and T20 games. I am not asking for five Test matches to prove myself. Give me two-three games. And if I don’t perform, drop me forever," Raina said.cricket Updated: Jul 29, 2015 11:20 IST
It seems the old order is changing fast ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s grip on Team India began loosening with Virat Kohli taking charge of the Test team.
Even before the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could make Team India players sign a ‘no-conflict-of-interest’ undertaking, one-day specialist Suresh Raina has parted ways with Rhiti Sports Private Limited, owned by Dhoni’s friend Arun Pandey.
"I have signed a three-year deal with IOS Sports and Entertainment. I am happy to be associated with the new company. Above all, I am happy that there would be no conflict-of-interest under the BCCI system," Raina told HT on Tuesday.
Though he didn’t elaborate on the switch, he said that at the end of the day one needed respect and good sleep. "That is what one works for in his life," said Raina, who will celebrate the 10th anniversary of his international debut on Thursday.
Raina has a tough fitness regimen lined up for the next 15 days in Netherlands for which he left on Tuesday night with wife Priyanka Chaudhary, a banker there.
"I have been running, doing gym and playing football indoors as it’s the rainy season. I have lined-up special fitness sessions in Holland. I will have plenty of time there. My wife would be busy with her exams during that period," said Raina.
His brother-in-law has made special arrangements for a bowling machine at one of the centres there and Raina will attend regular indoor batting sessions. "I tried to get a few games with county teams during the vacation, but they have already signed players," he said. "It’s going to be a very important series for me. I have plans for each game. I am happy that the first match (ODI) will be played at the Green Park in Kanpur, the best venue for me."
"The Proteas are a good side but we have a proven track record against them, including our showing in the World Cup. It will be an exciting series," he said.
Raina, who scored a century on his Test debut in Sri Lanka in 2010, said it would be full of cricket in India for the next two years. It would be a boon for him to establish himself in the Test side too, he added. "Ahead of the World Twenty20, I have plenty of opportunities to play in the longer version of the game, especially in the Ranji Trophy in October-November before we tour Australia in January for an away series (of five ODIs and three T20 matches)," he said.
"The domestic games will give me a platform to show my calibre and stake claim for a recall to the Test side. I am desperate for this. The Test series against South Africa in India will allow me to play at least four-five Ranji games for UP."
Raina accepted that he was a bit disappointed at having been overlooked for the Test series against Sri Lanka. "I have been doing consistently well in one-dayers and T20s. Even in the IPL, I scored runs. It’s true that I didn’t do well in three innings in Test cricket in 2012. It was the same story in 2015, but that doesn’t mean I am not experienced enough to be in the Test side.
"I have not been given enough chances to prove my calibre as a Test cricketer. You can’t judge a player on the basis of just one match after a hectic series of one-day and T20 games. I am not asking for five Test matches to prove myself. Give me two-three games. And if I don’t perform, drop me forever.
"I am sure I have the ability to be a consistent performer at Test level, but it’s just a matter of getting the chance to do so. Before gearing up for the World T20, I will focus on my Test comeback."