Mentored by Oz cricket academy, Raina could haunt Clarke’s men

Sydney: Trained at the Australian Cricket Academy six years ago, Indian middle-order batsman Suresh Raina could well haunt Michael Clarke`s men when they face each other in the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies.

"It was a very good experience for me, I spent time at the Allan Border Academy, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden spoke to me, gave me advice, I learned a lot from them. It definitely improved my cricket," Raina told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Hayden continues to mentor Raina at IPL side Chennai Super Kings, who won this year`s tournament on the back of Raina`s man-of-the-match half-century in the final.

Many have tipped Raina, 23, to be the leading run scorer in this year`s World Twenty20 championship.

However, Michael Hussey, another of Raina`s IPL teammates, will be advising his national compatriots on the potential weaknesses of the left-hander.

"I`ve had a little bit to do with him and watched him in the IPL, so certainly we`ll have to have a few good plans in place because he is playing very well," Hussey said.

"He definitely targets a couple of areas so we might have to bowl away from those areas, or try and make sure we`ve got those covered with fielders," he added.

Hussey believes Raina would have flourished at international level without the assistance of the Australian system.

"I still think he would have come through regardless, he`s got that much talent and ability that whether he was at the academy or not he would`ve come through and played at this level," Hussey said.