Suresh Raina will bat at number five, confirms Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Aug 28 2014, 23:11 IST
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Summary"Yes, Raina will bat at number five. That's how we will move ahead," said Dhoni when asked pertinently about Raina batting slot.

The move to send Suresh Raina to bat at number five paid rich dividends as his match-winning century helped India post a 133-run win over England, and it seems the Indian team management is in no mood to tamper with the middle order batsman's position in the batting line-up.

"Yes, Raina will bat at number five. That's how we will move ahead," said Dhoni when asked pertinently about Raina batting slot.

"Unless there are 3-4 overs remaining, then I will promote myself up. Other than that, 98 out of 100 games if the situation is good like it was in Cardiff, he will bat at number five. Ajinkya Rahane will bat at number four.

"It depends on one-off games though, or if it is a very crucial game for us and if someone is slightly out of form, then at times we will look to promote the in-form batsman, so he can get more runs and play more deliveries for the team. But as a settled slot, definitely Raina will bat at five. I think he is really good there," the captain added.

India started their build-up to the 2015 World Cup well with a comprehensive win in the second ODI against England and the team is keen to bank on it.

But when skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was asked whether Raina was assured of a place in the squad for the 2015 World Cup, he preferred to steer out of any controversy.

After the controversy regarding his comments about coach Duncan Fletcher leading the team in Australia-New Zealand, it would have been too much for Dhoni to confirm the same about another player.

After five-ODI series against England, India will play West Indies at home and then take part in a tri-series with England and Australia when they tour Down Under in December-January 2014-15.

During this period, the selectors will be fine-tuning their World Cup squad, giving chances to quite a few names in a bid to firm-up their eventual 15-member selection. It can be said though that they already know the nucleus of the side.

It can also be asserted that Raina has always been part of their plans. He was dropped for the Asia Cup in Bangladesh after the 4-0 loss in the ODIs in New Zealand. By his standards Raina didn't have a sparkling IPL season this time around, yet he led the national side to Bangladesh in the absence of Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

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