Finishing a game for your side gives you satisfaction: Suresh Raina
By: Express Web Desk |
Published:June 30, 2017 11:42 pm
It’s not difficult, I would say it’s more of your responsibility. When you bat down the order, it always gives you a chance to be a hero for the Indian team. And I have done that for so many years. I have done that in the IPL (Indian Premier League) and in first class cricket. I think it’s my role to do it. When you are batting at No 6, you have to perform. When you go in at a crucial time and finish the game, it always gives you satisfaction in your mind. I became a more responsible person. You feel that responsibility about you, which is the best thing, Raina said in an exclusive interview with Firstpost.
You need to read the situation. You need to read the circumstances. How many runs you are chasing, (if) are you chasing nine per over or 12 per over. It starts from over one – how you plan, how many (runs) you are chasing. With the new rules coming up, you need to plan which bowler to target and which one to not take risk against. You need to learn how to bat with tailenders because you need to take all the pressure and absorb it yourself. I like playing under pressure because I have always delivered and there is a different sense of security.
You need to understand the situation, what target your are chasing and plan accordingly. The most important thing is what mindset you are going in with, in which over and against what opposition. So you already visualise while reading the game, sitting in the dressing room. When you sit inside the dressing room, you analyse, follow what the captains are doing out on the field. You then prepare plan A and if that doesn’t work then have plan B ready. I already choose the bowlers whom I have to attack. If there are five fielders inside the circle, then I know my areas where to hit, I know where I will hit a particular bowler. I have already played 223 ODIs and all that experience comes in handy.
You need to feel the pressure and then absorb that pressure sitting in the dug out. You need to know what your plan will be. The moment you go in, you feel like expressing yourself. Because you need to enjoy yourself while playing cricket. It’s not like you are totally bogged down by pressure. I don’t get bogged down because I like to enjoy the game, I like to express my feelings on the field. That’s why I have been very successful. It’s there in the mind when you are playing international cricket, but the most important thing is to enjoy your game.
It developed over the years. At the start of my career in 2005, I used to bat higher up the order, then I played at No 3 in the IPL and then a lot of matches in the lower order, at No 6 and 7. You just get a feeling from inside that when you are playing for your country, every match is important. You take it one game at a time and develop the art with experience in international cricket. You don’t become a big player overnight. God has been really kind that whenever the situation demanded runs, he always chose me to go out there and finish the match. So I am very blessed.
It’s necessary to get nervous. It is very important. If you don’t get nervous then there is something wrong in your body. When you are representing your nation, there is a sense of nervousness because it’s important to feel that pressure. If it’s not there then either you are overconfident or not focusing enough. I like that pressure. I like that nervousness when I go in to bat. I get nervous in every match, there isn’t a particular match. When you are playing for India, there’s this thing inside telling me that I have to do it. That’s why they say “pressure me hi accha khelte hai”.
When you enter the field and walk up to the crease and take guard, you feel all that. While walking down the crease when you perform stretches, take long breaths, do some planning, scan left to right and vice versa. At that time you get to know how you are going to play today.
It’s when you are reading the game you have to decide when to take the risk. You can’t pre-decide it. Because when I am going out to bat, I may come in as early as the 20th over, or the 30th or 40th. You have to read the game first. Which bowler has how many overs left. How many runs you need. You try your best to take it to the last and then try to finish it. When you have wickets in hand, you can always execute (big shots) later on. When you are out in the middle, you have to keep all these things in mind.
My game is such that if I am there out in the middle, the game will itself get finished early (smiles). But you can’t premeditate that when I am in the middle I will finish it early. It looks pretty easy when you are off the field. But when you head out to the middle, it’s only after facing the bowler that you realise that if we need 60 from 30 balls, even if I play 20 balls, the target can be achieved. However, you have to think about your partner too at the non-striker’s end because it’s a team game. If I am going all out, he is playing the sheet anchor’s role. So we have to plan accordingly.
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