Being a part of the 2011 World Cup winning team, India’s middle-order batsman Suresh Raina is no stranger to the mega-event, and this time around he is looking forward to guide the younger players in the side though he still shies away from calling himself a senior.
Raina said while there would hardly be any change in his role as a player from the 2011 World Cup, he admitted there would be responsibility of guiding the youngsters in the team.
“The responsibilities are the same irrespective of the tournament and age. 2011 was different since there were a lot of seniors in the side. This World Cup I won’t call myself a senior but I do have a good camaraderie with the younger guys in the side as compared to 2011. Then I mostly listened to things but this time I can talk to the youngsters, which is an extra responsibility. We have a good team and hopefully we will do well in the tournament,” Raina told reporters at the Open Media session here today.
Only four members of the 2011 World Cup are part of this squad and Raina said with the new ODI rules in place, the team would be backing itself to play to its strengths.
“In the 2011 World Cup, we had a lot of meetings and Sachin Tendulkar led most of them. I spent a lot of time with (then India coach) Gary Kirsten and Yuvraj Singh in that World Cup. Yuvi was batting in the middle-order with me that time,” 28-year-old said.
“I have learnt from Dhoni and Yuvi to play free cricket. In the previous World Cup, Yuvi finished games well with the bat and Zaheer did the job with the ball. But now this is a new team and we’ve got to be in the present and not think too far ahead. This World Cup is going to be different with two new balls and new rules and we need to back ourselves and our strengths,” he added.
Raina said it was a young and rejuvenated side that was looking forward to a successful World Cup defence.
“It is a fresh tournament and we are ready to go. We are young and we have got a lot of time to bond within ourselves. We are hungry and ready to enjoy ourselves. The World Cup is the biggest tournament for us now. We need to look to be positive all the time and enjoy each other’s company,” insisted Raina.