What is most crucial in any T20I game? Raina has the answer
Cape Town: Comeback man Suresh Raina feels that in T20s it is all about the first six overs and that is where every team has to cash in to win games.
Raina said that he wants to continue his strong showing in the T20 International (T20I) series against South Africa in the upcoming tournaments also, including the IPL, in his bid to make a comeback into the One Day International (ODI) squad.
"I think in T20s, it is all about six overs. You can put a lot of bowlers back easily if you have wickets in hand and you can execute later on," Raina told reporters after helping India win the T20I series 2-1 by hitting 43 off 27 balls and bagging one wicket for 27 runs in three overs in the third and final match.
After posting a chaseable 172/7 in 20 overs, India beat South Africa by seven runs in the third T20I here on Saturday. Earlier, the men in blue won the ODI series 5-1.
"This moment (comeback) is 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 the World Cup before in 2011. It was my first World Cup and we won the trophy. That was an unbelievable feeling," Raina said.
"Coming back to ODIs, I have done well at No. 5. It is just a matter of couple more games and I think I can show that I can definitely come back in the ODIs soon," said Raina who was adjudged man of the match.
"I worked really hard for the last two years. Each and every session I was doing in the gym or on the field, I was just hoping when am I going to play for India again. I have worked really hard on my game as well and my fitness and mental toughness. When team India wins everything looks so nice," he said..
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The 31-year-old left handed batsman said the Indian team was a confident bunch of players, which was reflected in the results.
"The way we played in Tests and ODIs, it showed what we can achieve as a team in South Africa. No team has ever done it before. That confidence in the dressing room gave us license to enjoy ourselves on the ground and express ourselves. That's why we won this game. We bowled beautifully in the first six overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya did well.
"T20 cricket is all about how you put your attitude on the field and that's all we showed today," he said.
Heaping praise on skipper Virat Kohli, who missed the third T20 with a stiff back, Raina said he is very flexible and allowed Raina to bat at No.3 which is usually Kohli's position.
"The way Virat led the team in the last two and a half months, he showed he cares about each and every person. Batting at No. 3, he has done brilliantly in T20 cricket but he gave me that license to go after the bowlers and attack. He showed faith in me."