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"Yuvraj, Bhajji presence will help team"

Press Trust Of India
Sep 06, 2012 at 04:34pm IST

Visakhapatnam: Suresh Raina feels India will get their mojo back in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka with the return of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh, two vital cogs of the side that won the ODI World Cup last year.

"It's almost the same team that won the World Cup 2011. Also we have many players who were a part of World T20 triumph in 2007. So the team is upbeat and in a positive frame of mind ahead of the World T20," Raina told PTI on Thursday.

Raina said the team was looking forward to the return of India's World Cup hero Yuvraj who will make a comeback after successfully battling cancer. "Yuvi bhai is such a great fighter. He has put in so much effort and has worked really hard at the NCA. You will get to see this when he comes out on the field. He is a team-man. There is so much to learn from him. I really wish him best of luck in his comeback. We are pretty confident that he will do well," he said.

Yuvraj, Bhajji presence will help team: Raina

Suresh Raina says team is looking forward to the return of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh.

"[Harbhajan Singh] Bhajji-bhai is also returning. He is one of the key players in the line-up. We have a lot of allrounders who can chip in with two three overs."

Raina also feels India does have a combination that can create magic. "Our fielding is very agile. We also have good youngsters in Manoj Tiwary and Ashok Dinda. Our side looks really balanced," he pointed out.

The champions of the inaugural edition in 2007, India had a fine outing in Sri Lanka in July-August when they thrashed the hosts 4-1 in the ODIs and had also won the one-off T20I.

Raina played the role of a finisher as he aggregated 174 with a fine 58.00 average in the five-match ODI series. "I had a fine outing in that series. We won series convincingly. I'm looking forward towards doing well again there," Raina said.

"We are coming back after two good series against Sri Lanka (in Sri Lanka) and New Zealand. It was nice to win both the series handsomely. Now everything is in order for the World T20. Against New Zealand, we are confident and it will give us a perfect build up before we leave for Sri Lanka," Raina said.

India will take on New Zealand in two T20Is before flying to Sri Lanka where they will warm-up against the hosts (September 15) and arch-rivals Pakistan (September 17).

Raina says these four games will give India the perfect momentum before squaring up against Afghanistan in the tournament opener on September 19. "These two matches (against the New Zealand) and two warm-up games in Sri Lanka should be enough to get an idea. We will get to know how the team is shaping up," the left-hander said.

Raina was recalled into the just-concluded Test series against New Zealand after a poor outing in England. The youngster had one half-century in the series, having involved in a crucial 99-run partnership with Virat Kohli in the second Test.

Yet to establish himself in the Test mould, Raina however hoped to return stronger when England series starts later this year. "I'm counting on the positives. I had a fine partnership with Virat. I gave my best, but I was unlucky a couple of times. Hopefully, I will be able to rectify those mistakes before the England tour."

But for the time being, Raina's focus is on the shortest format of the game, something the 25-year-old seems relishes more. "Twenty20 is a totally different format. We have a packed T20 calendar as there will be Champions League T20 (in South Africa) after the World Cup. I'm really looking forward towards doing well there," he concluded.

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