New Delhi: One-Day International and Twenty20 fixtures may dominate cricket calendar, but for many cricketers, the joy in playing five-day Test is incomparable. Suresh Raina, who has established himself as one of the best players in both the limited overs formats, is desperate to play Test. For that, he is ready to grind out.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, Raina has already executed a plan to fulfil his dream of making a comeback in the national Test squad.
"The domestic games will give me a platform to show my calibre and stake claim for a recall to the Test side. I am desperate for this. The Test series against South Africa in India will allow me to play at least four-five Ranji games for UP."
The Proteas will be in India for a long 72-day tour (from September to December) which includes four Tests, five ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals. While the new domestic season in India will start in the first week of October, with Raina's team Uttar Pradesh taking on Madhya Pradesh in their first Ranji Trophy match.
Raina emphasised the opportunity to play in the domestic league and said, "Ahead of the World Twenty20, I have plenty of opportunities to play in the longer version of the game, especially in the Ranji Trophy in October-November before we tour Australia in January for an away series (of five ODIs and three T20 matches)."
Raina has played 18 Test matches for India, scoring a hundred in his debut against Sri Lanka back in 2010, but has since been overlooked by the selectors. And the all-rounder felt that he has not been given enough opportunities to prove his worth.
"I have not been given enough chances to prove my calibre as a Test cricketer. You can’t judge a player on the basis of just one match after a hectic series of one-day and T20 games. I am not asking for five Test matches to prove myself. Give me two-three games. And if I don’t perform, drop me forever," he said.
Raina is not part of the Indian team touring Sri Lanka for a three match Test series, starting August 12. But the southpaw is confident playing Test cricket for India soon.
"I am sure I have the ability to be a consistent performer at Test level, but it’s just a matter of getting the chance to do so. Before gearing up for the World T20, I will focus on my Test comeback."