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Suresh Raina Feels Intent is the Key to Success in Shorter Formats

Suresh Raina. (AFP)

Suresh Raina. (AFP)

Suresh Raina put on an all-round display in the third T20I between India and South Africa at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town as the visitors won the game to take the T20I series 2-1. And the southpaw feels that showing intent is the way forward in the shorter formats of the game and this tour of the Rainbow Nation will stand the team in good stead for the future.

New Delhi: Suresh Raina put on an all-round display in the third T20I between India and South Africa at the Newlands Stadium in Cape Town as the visitors won the game to take the T20I series 2-1. And the southpaw feels that showing intent is the way forward in the shorter formats of the game and this tour of the Rainbow Nation will stand the team in good stead for the future.

“You need to show intent in the first 6 overs. When you get the ball in your area, you hit it (on the first-ball six). The way we played in Tests and One-Days, we looked so calm. Things looked up to the mark. Credit goes to the support staff, who gave us a lot of confidence to express ourselves. Bowling to two lefties after the 7th over gave me a lot of confidence. I have been working hard on my bowling, hopefully you’ll see more in the future,” Raina said after the game.

On a comeback trail in T20 Internationals, Indian batsman Suresh Raina says he wants to use the opportunity to regain his place in ODIs ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Raina has returned to the side after one year and has looked to bat aggressively in both matches against South Africa. With a long T20 schedule ahead, he said that there was a chance for him to make further inroads and return to the ODI side as well.

Raina said, “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 and Shikhar Dhawan starred with the bat but it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who again held his nerve in the end as India sealed the T20I series with a sensational 2-1 win over South Africa in Cape Town.

India suffered an early blow after in-form Virat Kohli was ruled out due to a stiff back. Stand in skipper Rohit Sharma again departed early, but then Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan made most of some ordinary South African bowling. Raina counter-attacked but Dhawan played the anchor role with perfection. In fact, Dhawan got his first boundary off the 29th ball but scored an 47 off 40. He was given two chances, with Shamsi dropping a couple of sitters.

Southpaw Raina scored a quickfire 43 off just 27 balls, Pandya(21) and Karthik (13) chipped in with the runs towards the end as India finished their innings at 172/7. South Africa bowled well in patches with Junior Dala again impressive with his raw pace, as he picked up 3/35 in his 4 overs.

Morris came back strongly after an ordinary start to finish with figures of 2/43. South Africa never really got into the chase as they got off to a horrendous start, losing in-form Reeza Hendricks early. Miller – who opened the innings for the first time in T20Is – looked lackluster, failing to find boundaries as the home team struggled to get any momentum.

Hero of the previous match Klaasen couldn’t contribute much either as he departed for 7. Duminy waged a lone battle for South Africa, scoring 55 off just 41 balls, including hitting Axar Patel for 16 off 1 over.

India used the slower balls to perfection and Suresh Raina chipped in with 3 overs, giving away only 27 runs and picking the wicket of David Miller. Just when it seemed India would coast home to victory, debutant Christiaan Jonker played a blinder which almost took his team in sight of victory.

South Africa managed to get 45 runs from the three overs preceding the final one, meaning they required 19 off the final over. Despite giving away a boundary, Bhuvneshwar Kumar held his nerve as India went onto win by 7 runs, with Jonker’s 24-ball 49 going in vain.