'Raina needs to spend more time at crease'

'Raina needs to spend more time at crease'

After Suresh Raina picked up his second consecutive duck in the ongoing one-day series against South Africa, MS Dhoni stressed on the need for the left-hander to spend some time in the middle.

“I think more than the form, he needs to give himself a bit more time,” Dhoni noted on Sunday. “More often than not he has gone in and played the big shot. Whenever you go in, you actually have more time than what you think. I feel it is important for him to play a few more deliveries. It is not easy to straightaway play the big shots especially in outfields that are quite big. He needs to give himself a bit more time because it is very difficult to find people who can clear the big outfield right from the very first delivery. My personal feeling is that he needs to give himself a bit more time,” he explained.

Raina’s sequence of scores for the three ODIs is 3, 0, 0 while he managed just 14 and 22 in two preceding T20Is. Notably, he has faced just 10 balls in the last three one-dayers, a fact not lost on Dhoni.

Virat Kohli’s lean patch till Sunday’s game, Dhoni maintained, wasn’t because of bad form. “I don’t think he was out of form,” he began. “He got run-out in quite a few games and it is just that we wanted to try him at number four and he got run-out two or three times which makes it slightly more difficult for this batting line-up to work. The good positive was the fact that Ajinkya Rahane batted really well when he got an opportunity at the top of the order,” he offered.

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