Batting at number 3 slot was the key to success: Raina

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Suresh Raina attributes his recent run of success in ODIs to the promotion in the batting order.

Updated: July 13, 2008 07:56 IST
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New Delhi:

Suresh Raina reckons that batting at the crucial number three slot provided the perfect opportunity to prove his worth in India's ODI team and the talented batsman says he has now become a more matured cricketer.

Raina, who started his career with a flourish, went out of the international scene owing to injuries and loss of form, but staged a remarkable comeback in the recent Asia Cup where he hit knocks of 101, 84, 116 not out, 1, 54 an 16.

The young Uttar Pradesh says he worked on his batting during the period when he was out of the team and the results of all the hard work were beginning to show.

"Earlier, I was batting at number six or seven so I could not produce runs. But it is a great opportunity to play at number three, which was lying vacant in the team. It is a very good slot, I really want to play there," he said.

However, the task of batting at number three did not come easy and the failure against Pakistan invited scathing comments from his captain M.S. Dhoni who said upgrading him in the batting order was a " mistake".

"But I think now Dhoni has got the answer," the 21-year-old batsman said adding that "I was also disappointed after that match. It happens sometimes, things don't work.

"I always learn from my mistakes. I learnt from that experience and did not repeat it the next time I got the opportunity. In fact, I get motivated by criticism and learn from them.", he said.

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