'It is a long road to the World Cup,' says Raina

A file photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team South Africa Feb 24, 2018, 03.10 AM (IST)

Suresh Raina marked his comeback in the ongoing T20 series against South Africa. Recently, India had created history, winning the six-match ODI series by 5-1 on South African soil, Indian team outplayed South African side in all departments, fielding, batting and bowling. All eyes are on Suresh Raina as he is one of the favourites when it comes toT20 format. In IPL, Raina was retained by Chennai Super Kings for an amount of 11 crores. Raina is desperate to rejoin Indian cricket team ahead of World Cup 2019, and his performance will act as a decider. Raina played his last international T20 match almost a year ago against England at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Feb 01, 2017. The veteran has since struggled to get back into the side because of both form and fitness issues.

In a recent interview Indian cricketer, Suresh 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 told reporters ahead of the third T20I match against South Africa.

He added, "So we will see where I can fit in. There are a lot of matches coming up now. Winning games is more important than being which format I am playing or not. Every Indian game is very important for me right now."

"It is important (to attack). Virat (Kohli) showed that faith in me. In the last two games we have dominated in the first six overs. It is very important to play well in the first six overs," Raina said.

India is currently levelled at 1-1 in the series with the decider game to be played here on Saturday.

Raina stressed that the team will look to go aggressive once again in the third match against the hosts to finish the tour on high.

"We have spoken about it in the team meeting as well. When you have been doing well in every game, then you need to finish well too. That is what Virat is all about. He never takes things easier, and on top of that you have MS and Ravi (Shastri) bhai who also give their inputs to the players," he said.

"Virat has led the team well. We did well in Tests and won the ODI series. Dressing room is such that everyone is enjoying this success and the process is such that everyone is giving their inputs to Ravi bhai."

Taking about the 2019 World Cup, he said that there is the long road the team has to cover ahead of the tournament.

"I think it is a long road to the World Cup from here on. First, we have the tri-series in Sri Lanka, then we have the IPL, so we need to keep fresh, keep winning and doing the right processes," the occasional off-spinner said.

"Closer to the World Cup we will be able to tell where we are going. It is important to stay in present and look to win each and every game," Raina added.