After the T20I series against England last year, BCCI unceremoniously dropped Suresh Raina from the India side, citing lack of form and consistency as the main reasons.
Now back in the Indian setup, Raina feels grateful for the second opportunity that he has received, and does not want to waste this chance.
“I have worked really hard for the last two years and coming to back to the Indian team, it feels like I am playing for the first time in the Indian jersey,” Raina told BCCI.TV. “I am very happy to be back and I have played a good amount of domestic cricket to get myself in the zone. I am looking forward to the game tomorrow.”
“When I didn’t get a chance, I was very strong mentally and got a lot of support from my family. I got a lot of support from our Head Coach Ravi Shastri alongside with captain Virat Kohli. When someone is down, but you have people like them supporting you, it feels great. I wanted to get back to winning ways and this T20I series might well be the beginning.
“It is very important to start well and be mentally strong. I know that I need to just switch on my mind and be mentally tough. It’s all about going out there tomorrow and giving it all. I am hungry to do well and starting off fresh in South Africa feels good since I have played enough cricket in the past here.”
“This team is enjoying each others’ success and that makes you believe that you can win any sort of tournament anywhere in the world. I love the dressing room atmosphere and it still feels the same.
“And when you get a lot of support from all corners in the team, it feels great. The dressing room is bubbling with energy and now it is all about getting on the field and start off with a win.”