Raina, who recently broke into top-10 ODI batsmen list for first time, spoke to NDTV in an exclusive chat on Sunday. Excerpts from the conversation:
On his recent successes
After I was dropped from the Test team post the New Zealand series last year, I spent two-and-half months in the Uttar Pradesh team. I worked on my fitness and my concentration levels improved. I was batting well in the nets, trying to make sure that I don't get out in the net practice. While batting in the nets, I was trying to overcome my weaknesses which I thought would figure in the real-match situations.
On his ambition to play Tests
I am built for Test cricket. I believe I have done considerably well in Tests. I played well in the West Indies tour after 2011 World Cup. I am working hard to get back that Test spot. The number six or seven slot is a difficult one to bat at. From now on, I will ensure that I will prove my worth as a Test cricketer whenever I get the chance.
On his friendship with MSD
We both are professional cricketers. Of course, everyone is friendly but we know how to balance our friendship both on and off the field. When in the middle, we are very much focused at the job at hand.
On competition with Viral Kohl, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma
My aim is to perform well in every format of the game I get to play as of now. That is the only way I can make a make my way back into the Test team. I am determined to do better than what I have done before. Honestly, I believe my ODI performances will be crucial for a comeback.
On his struggle against the short ball
I think I am playing the short ball well. I am getting better at facing the bouncers as I know opposition tries to use those as a weapon against me. Yet, no one is perfect and he takes time to master a particular thing.
On the idea of having a personal batting coach
There is absolutely no harm in having a personal batting coach. These days cricketers are earning a lot of money and one should invest that in personalised coaches. Although, people may have different take on this. Praveen Amre was my coach for a long time and I am comfortable with that.
On his consistent performances in IPL
It is a great feeling to have scored so many runs for my team Chennai Super Kings. But that's what we play cricket for, don't we.
On his date
There are only rumours. I am not dating anybody. I shall focus on cricket for next 3 years.