Cape Town: 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.
"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." Before this, the 31-year-old last played for India in a T20 International against England on February 1, 2017. He had made an impressive 63 off 45 balls but did not feature in subsequent T20I series against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia.
"I always play for the team and if we are winning trophies, individual performances will look after themselves. Whatever opportunity I get I look to play my natural game. I enjoy the team support and it helps improve my game." Raina has said that the first six overs are really important in the team's plans in T20 Internationals and they will look to go aggressive once again in the third match against South Africa here tomorrow.
The series stands level at 1-1 with India looking to finish the tour on a high. "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. "When you look to target the first six overs in T20s, you have to play your shots. Some times you get runs sometimes you don't, but I think when there is depth in the middle order you need to play really well in the first six overs.
"You need to take chances in the first six overs when you are looking to chase or get big runs and that's what we have done as a batting unit," he added. Raina stressed that India need to carry their momentum from the last week of January and finish off the tour well.
Raina said India needed to simply follow their plans and execute them properly to secure a 2-1 win. "They have done well in the last game and batted really well. JP Duminy took the responsibility and Heinrich Klaasen was very solid in what he was trying to do. I think dew made a lot of difference but credit goes to South Africa. "We haven't played Junior Dala and Dale Paterson much earlier, but we have done well against them in this series so far,” he said. Raina is also one of three Indian batsmen with a T20 International hundred.