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Legendary India batsman Sunil Gavaskar has described all-rounder Suresh Raina as “one of those 100 percenters” who always tries his best when it comes batting, bowling and fielding.
Gavaskar’s comments come after Raina’s fabulous century in the second ODI against England in Cardiff, which India won by 133 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
“Raina is one of those 100 percenters whether it’s batting, bowling or fielding,” Gavaskar told NDTV. “He has always played with the kind of energy that is so rare in Indian cricket.
“He played himself in at the start and when it was required, he opened his shoulders and hit some powerful shots to get to a 100 in 74 balls. That is fantastic batting.”
Gavaskar also noted that Raina has learnt to bat according to the situation the team is in when he comes out to the crease.
“He has developed a sense of assessing the situation that the team finds itself in and then adjusting his batting accordingly,” he said.
Gavaskar added that India have to keep bringing new players in when they have “lost very badly”.
“I’ve always believed that when a team has lost very badly, you need some players who haven’t had that trauma of those losses, the trauma of sitting in a dejected, desolate dressing room,” he said. “And that’s what Raina has brought.”
Meanwhile, Raina lauded former captain Ravi Shastri, who was named director of cricket for this ODI series, for instilling “confidence in the team”.
“He (Ravi Shastri) was also sitting with me in the bus when we were on our way to the stadium and he told me, ‘khadoos khelna hai (play a stubborn game)’,” Raina was quoted as saying on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) website. “There is a different comfort level when you talk to a former Indian player; you can be free and honest. All the other coaches have been very supportive as well but Ravi Shastri set the tone for us and instilled confidence in the team.”