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Suresh Raina wants to use T20I return to get back into the India ODI squad for World Cup 2019

Raina's last ODI appearance was back in October 2015

Utathya Nag utathya10 24 February 2018, 7:49 PM
Suresh Raina scored 31 and 15 in his two outings in the South Africa series

Suresh Raina scored 31 and 15 in his two outings in the South Africa series Image: AFP

Suresh Raina is on a comeback trail and wants to make the most out of his opportunities in T20Is to regain his place in ODIs ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Raina, who returned to the India national squad after almost one year, has looked aggressive in both matches against South Africa so far but is yet to turn his good starts into a big score.

With a long T20 schedule ahead, the 31-year-old said that there was a chance for him to make further inroads and return to the ODI side as well. "It is important to win a trophy first and important to go out there as a team mindset. If you see the top order, they are all batting well. When you come to the middle order, MS (Dhoni) is there and Manish (Pandey) is also doing a good job," Raina said.

"So we will see where I can fit in. There are a lot of matches coming up now. Winning games is more important than being which format I am playing or not. Every Indian game is very important for me right now," he added.

Before being picked for the T20I series in South Africa, Raina last played for India in a T20I against England back in February 1, 2017. He had made an impressive 63 off 45 balls but did not feature in subsequent T20I series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia. His last ODI appearance dates back to 2015.

"I always play for the team and if we are winning trophies, individual performances will look after themselves. Whatever opportunity I get I look to play my natural game. I enjoy the team support and it helps improve my game," he said.

Raina has scored 31 and 15 in the first two T20Is and will be looking for a big score in the crucial third match. The series stands level at 1-1 with India looking to finish the tour on a high.

"It is important (to attack). Virat (Kohli) showed that faith in me. In the last two games we have dominated in the first six overs. It is very important to play well in the first six overs. When you look to target the first six overs in T20s, you have to play your shots. Some times you get runs sometimes you don t, but I think when there is depth in the middle order you need to play really well in the first six overs. You need to take chances in the first six overs when you are looking to chase or get big runs and that s what we have done as a batting unit," he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

Read more:

Ind vs SA: Suresh Raina back with India squad after almost a year; watch video

I was dropped despite performing well: Suresh Raina

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