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Raina set for No. 4 at World Cup?

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Suresh Raina.— PHOTO: PTI
Suresh Raina.— PHOTO: PTI

If one is to go by skipper M.S. Dhoni’s comments on the Indian team’s batting order for ODIs, left-hander Suresh Raina may already have picked himself for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

In the first match of the series against Australia on Sunday, Raina came in after Rohit Sharma’s wicket in the 14th over, made a 45-ball 39 with two fours and a six, and fell to left-arm seamer James Faulkner.

“We want him to bat at No.4 for a considerable period of time,” said Dhoni.

“Right now, the only person who has batted at No.4 for over 50 matches with any degree of success is Yuvraj Singh (who has come in at two-drop in 95 innings). We do not want to be in a situation where we go into the 2015 World Cup and find, for whatever reason, that Yuvraj is unavailable, and we do not have a batsman with experience at No.4.

“Between now and then, we want to give Raina ample chances to bat in that position and get used to it. If you see, there are times when Raina plays some instinctive shots and gets out. That comes from spending a lot of time batting at No. 6.”

Raina has batted No.4 twelve times, scored 468 runs, with his best being an unbeaten 116 against Bangladesh in 2008.

He has scored 494 runs at No.3, 1,572 at No.5 and 1,571 at No.6. — Special Correspondent

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