Mar 222014

DHAKA: Sometimes the best thing that can happen to a cricketer is being dropped. The break allows the player to go back to the drawing board, play domestic cricket, work on shortcomings and when the opportunity knocks again, he comes back as an improved player.

The axe from the one-day team for the Asia Cup seems to have done wonders for southpaw Suresh Raina. He was struggling in the series against Australia and West Indies at home and didn’t impress in South Africa and New Zealand either.

Back in the side for the ICC World T20, Raina looks lighter and hungrier and is hitting the ball sweeter. He is also getting into position earlier, which is helping him play the short ball well. Scores of 41 and 54 not out in the warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and England respectively and 35 not out in the Super 10 clash against Pakistan are indicative of the fact that Raina is back in business.

What did he do when he was out of the side? “I analysed my game. Worked hard in the nets with my coach and played a few matches in domestic cricket. I also did a lot of work on my fitness,” he informed. Raina even sought the help of former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, another southpaw, and the tips seem to be working well.

“I spoke to him over the phone and he was very sweet. He pointed out certain things about my footwork and my mental make-up. I am looking forward to working with him again.” Raina’s game had collapsed last season when he was promoted to the No. 4 slot in place of Yuvraj Singh in the ODI format.

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