Suresh Raina has been one of the most prolific scorers in the Indian Premier League with 2294 runs in 84 matches, a decent average of 33.24 and striking those runs at an impressive 139.36. He is one of India's best bet in the shorter formats, especially with his fielding acumen and bowling inputs. Despite all that and more, the Chennai Super Kings batsman has his feet firmly grounded.
Infact, in a nation where supreme fitness is more an asset than a necessity, Raina along with the likes of Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja has brought in a fresh air. Raina though, still likes to keep things simple. In an exclusive chat to NDTV, he opened up on his 'secrets' to be a fit cricketer and an electrifying fielder.
"Training, good sleep and a lot of water does it for me. I do miss home food though. I also try and keep innovating with methods to stay fit. A lot depends on discipline. I also feel that one should feel fresh when they get up first thing in the morning," said the Indian middle-order batsman, almost nonchalantly.
Chennai team is doing well as of now having won two of the three matches they have played. The last match against Bangalore though, had a lot of players biting their nails. Raina too played a good part in the narrow win with his 30 runs of 22 balls. The dashing left-hander belives that Chennai will become more and more consistent as the tournament goes on.
"We are playing well as of now. Last game went too close but no one knew who won. Only when the umpire signalled no-ball that we exulted. Youngsters are doing well and we hope that now the consistency is there for all to see as the tournament progresses.
"Nothing is predictable in this format. More important is commitment and discipline. There is a lot of travel, so fitness is extremely important," said a modest yet passionate Raina.
IPL is immediately followed by the last-ever edition of the Champions Trophy and India, who have won the tournament jointly with Sri Lanka, with the 2002 final being rained off twice, would want to put that record straight now. Raina would be an integral part of that quest but conditions in England might not be ideal for the Men in Blue.
"We have a practice match on June 1. We will have enough time to adjust to the conditions before our opening game on the 6th (against South Africa). I am hopeful that we will do well in England," said a confident Raina.
Another aspect of Raina's game has been his lack of runs in the longest format, despite a brilliant start to his career with a century against Sri Lanka in his first Test match. He though, is extremely confident of doing well in Tests and is hopeful that selectors will provide him a opportunity in the South Africa tour.
"I have been training hard and doing well for the last 6-7 months. There is Champions Trophy and matches against West Indies before South Africa tour. I hope to play and deliver in that tour for India," he concluded.