Suresh Raina hasn’t played for India since last July, but the 32-year-old has not given up on his national ambitions. Raina, who is recovering from a knee injury, said he expects to be back in action from November and is keen on giving a shot at the back-to-back T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021.
With India looking for ideal batsmen for their middle order, the experienced Raina wants to throw his hat in the ring. Raina has played 78 T20Is, scoring 1605 runs including a century.
“Basically my left knee was cleaned up. I expect to be back playing in November,” Raina told Sportstar. “I can be the No. 4 for India. I have batted in that slot before and delivered. I am looking forward to an opportunity with two T20 World Cups coming up.”
The current No. 4 is Rishabh Pant, who is going through a rough phase in terms of form. Pant got the backing of Raina, who called on the youngster to play his brand of cricket.
“He appears confused, is not playing his natural game. He is looking for singles, blocking, and appears lost,” said Raina. “Someone needs to talk to him as MS Dhoni would do to players. Cricket is a mental game and Pant has to be backed to play his attacking brand of cricket. Right now he seems to be playing under instructions and it is not working.”
Raina also said Dhoni still has plenty to offer Indian cricket.
“He is still fit, still a terrific wicket-keeper and still the greatest finisher in the game. Dhoni will be an asset to India in the T20 World Cup. Only Dhoni will decide when he leaves the game.”