Suresh Raina hopes to impress the national selectors with a good performance in the Irani Cup match against Mumbai starting on Wednesday and regain his place in the Indian team for the four-Test series against Australia.
“Mumbai are the Ranji Trophy champions. The Rest of India is also a good team, with players keen to come back or make an entry into the Indian team. So if I make runs in the match it will be good for me.
“I have scored consistently in the last ten matches (ODIs). I hope to continue with that,” the southpaw said.
Raina said that he needs to me more solid and mentally strong to improve his showing in Test cricket.
“I have played 159 ODIs, and 17 Tests. I have always believed in hard work. I have to try my best in order to play 50 or 60 Test matches.
“It’s all about temperament. I played six games for Uttar Pradesh and spent lot of good times with the team and I am looking forward to this game. Even (selector and ROI coach) Vikram Rathour (asked me to) enjoy the game and said it would be a good challenge before the Australian series,” said Raina, after the Rest of India side had its first practice session at the Wankhede stadium here on Monday evening.
Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni who has taken 30 wickets in the season said he had worked on his fitness, skills, speed and accuracy in the net sessions.
“Sachin Tendulkar and Ajit Agarkar have helped me. I was probably a (one-dimensional) bowler before this season. Now I have added variety,” said Kulkarni, who has been selected to the India ‘A’ squad for the warm up game against Australia in Chennai from February 16.