“I was correcting myself, I regained fitness after a knee injury and in the process I also passed the yo-yo” test. I put in a lot of hard work to get into the team, big players always supported me during my bad phase and I still have cricket left in me,” Raina told his fellow Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma during an Instagram Live session.
Rohit added to that saying that Raina should be in the Indian team, saying “we always talk about bringing you (Raina) back into the team but team selection is not in our hands and we should always keep doing the hard work.”
Raina and Rohit also talked about their IPL franchises and their experiences with the Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians respectively.
Raina spilled the beans on CSK’s success mantra in the Indian Premier League, saying that the trust factor plays a huge role in CSK’s success. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the coaching staff, which has remained the same for a long time, trust their players to the core. Rohit also heaped praise on CSK saying one needs to be competitive to play a competitive side like Chennai Super Kings.
Raina also reminded Rohit about how Dhoni showed faith in him by moving him from the middle order to the opening slot, which resulted in three double hundreds in ODIs.
Rohit and Raina went down memory lane recalling their initial days of international cricket. “When I made my debut in 2007 the team atmosphere was school-type, because we had so many seniors and I was always scared of Yuvi pa (Yuvraj Singh). But he has been very supportive, initially I was not close to him, but later I got along well with him and he made me feel comfortable on many occasions,” Rohit said.
Raina, who has so far played 18 Tests and 226 ODIs for India also remembered the 2011 World Cup days when Yuvraj battled through pain and helped India win the title.”I was batting with him against the West Indies and he vomited during the course of his knock but remained unperturbed and continued batting.”
The pair also spoke about Dhoni, who has not played a competitive cricket match since India’s 2019 World Cup semi-final exit against New Zealand. He was set to make his return to the cricket field in the Indian Premier League this season but the tournament has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. With that, Dhoni’s chances of making it to the Indian squad for the 2020 T20 World Cup and his future in international cricket has come under doubt.
Raina said that Dhoni was batting and keeping wickets well during the practice sessions that Chennai Super Kings held before the pandemic outbreak brought a halt to all cricket activities.
“I saw him and he was batting so well, he is fit. Only he knows what he is planning but as far as his skills go he was good. Now that the lockdown is here, I don’t really know what his plans are. He has a lot of cricket in him and he was batting so well there,” said Raina.
“If that is the case, he should play,” said Rohit. “I hope he starts playing again.”
“Yes but only he knows, whenever he becomes available people should ask him what his plans are,” said Raina.