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Suresh Raina hopeful of India Blue’s strong show in Duleep Trophy

Raina hasn't played an ODI for India since October 2015.

By Salman Anjum -

Suresh Raina - India Blue captain | Getty

Suresh Raina may have been going through a tough phase as he once again couldn’t find a spot in the national team, but the Ghaziabad lad is all charged up to lead the India Blue team in the prestigious ‘Duleep Trophy’ tournament.

On the eve of India Blue’s first encounter against India Red at the iconic Green Park, Kanpur, the 30-year-old batter said that it is a great opportunity for lots of youngsters like Abhimanyu Eswaran, Ishan Kishan among others to show their mettle.

“We are looking forward to the match. All matches at all levels are important. Even though we are not sure about the availability of players or their replacements, I’m sure everything will fall in place soon. We have the knowledge of the pitch here and it’s an advantage for us. Seemer Ankit Rajput is a local boy and that’s a big plus for the side,” Raina said while addressing the media on the eve of the game.

On September 2, Raina was seen taking some valuable tips from the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar. When the reporters queried about his meeting with the Maestro, Raina amusingly replied by saying that he met with Sachin to seek blessings.

“Yes, I had gone to Mumbai and practised before Sachin Tendulkar. I was there to take his blessings and I am happy that God of cricket blessed me,” the India Blue skipper said.

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In the inaugural match of this year’s Duleep Trophy, Dinesh Karthik led India Red side beat Parthiv Patel’s India Green by 170 runs and now with the confidence sky high they will take on India Blue on September 13 at Green Park in Kanpur.

TEAMS

India Blue: Suresh Raina (captain), Abhimanyu Eswaran, Manoj Tiwary, Jayant Yadav, Bhargav Bhatt, Deepak Jagbir Hooda, Vijay Shankar, KS Bharat, Ankit Rajpoot, Sagul Kamat, Ishant Sharma, Samit Gohil, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan.

India Red: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Rishabh Pant, Rahul Singh Gahlaut, Sudip Chatterjee, Ashoke Dinda, Karn Sharma, Baba Indrajith, Basil Thampi, Priyank Panchal, Ishank Jaggi, CV Milind, Vijay Gohil, Ambati Rayudu, Prithvi Shaw.

Salman Anjum

Cricket drives me, well it feeds me too :)