Suresh Raina has always struggled with facing the short ball, but the left-hander is slowly but surely getting over this technical flaw.
The 24-year-old was a picture of confidence against the Windies fast-bowlers as he played the short ball with consummate ease in the first Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Raina, along with Harbhajan Singh (70), was the hero of India's innings on Monday with an 82-run knock in which he dominated pacers, who tried to unsettle him with bouncers. "My plan was to play straight; keep my mind clear and look to be patient. God has been kind to me," remarked Raina.
After cementing his place in the limited overs formats, Raina is now looking to find a permanent Test berth, but his evident weakness against short-pitched deliveries is perceived as an unwanted hindrance. And Raina revealed he is training hard to get better at playing the shorter stuff.
"It's getting better. I am working hard with Duncan (Fletcher). I have spoken to Rahul (Dravid) bhai and (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, who've asked me to duck under the short ball.
"I am now keeping my mind clear, not thinking where they are going to pitch up. I am trying to be positive, trying to play straight down the ground," he said.
The jump in quality in Test match cricket is evident and Raina analysed why the longest form of the game is a real test of a batsman’s quality.
"It's not easy to make runs in Test matches. You would have to spend time, respect the opponent and watch the bowlers all the time. You need to see the shape in which they are bowling, who is reversing the ball, watch the hands closely, how your feet are moving." he opined.