Middle-order batsman Suresh Raina, who played a pivotal role in India’s 3-0 clean-sweep over Australia in the recent three-match T20 series, feels the triumph has given the side an “extra edge” going into next month’s World Twenty20 Championships. (India favourites at ICC World T20 2016 )Australia fielded a second string side against India with top players like Steve Smith, David Warner and James Faulkner playing only one of the three matches. Raina said irrespective of the strength of the opposition, India came out stronger from the series.”Whichever opposition you play, it was important for us to beat Australia on their home turf. Also since we beat them 3-0, we are now the No.1 ranked T20 team in the world. The win was a testimony that we prepared well. We will have an extra edge going into the World T20. Credit should be given to the captain and the support staff,” Raina said at the unveiling of the Rajkot IPL team ‘Gujarat Lions’ .His match-winning unbeaten 49 in the third T20 International came while batting at No 4 while he has mostly placed at No.3 for Chennai Super Kings during the eight seasons of the Indian Premier League.”Batting up the order in T20 is important as it helps you plan and execute your targets. I have played at No.3 for CSK but the team is almost set for the World T20s,” the UP left-hander stated.Raina believes that presence of him, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the middle-order at No 5,6 and 7 gives the team required solidity to be able to play “fearless cricket”.advertisement”During the third ball of the last over, Yuvraj told me whatever happens, we have to run a single. Before that, he had already taken the pressure off with a four and a six. After I ran a two, he said he believed I could finish the match. So with me, Yuvraj and Dhoni in the middle-order, we have the required experience.”He also praised the likes of Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah who impressed during the T20 series.”It is not easy for youngsters to tour Australia in their first series. The youngsters showed required toughness and mental character and they should be lauded for their performance,” said Raina, who is one short of completing 50 T20 Internationals for the country.
Asian neighbours India and Bangladesh will square-off in a crucial World Cup 2019 encounter when they meet at Edbaston, Birmingham on July 2.India, whose unbeaten run was brought to a halt by a resurgent England in their last match at the same ground two days ago, need just one win in their next 2 matches to seal a semi-final spot. Their opponents on Tuesday however, can’t settle for anything less than a win in the couple of games remaining to have a shot at making it to the last-4.Last time, these 2 sides met in the World Cup, India thrashed Bangladesh by 109 runs at the MCG. They have only met each other on 2 other occasions at the sport’s biggest stage – 2007 and 2011, with Bangladesh emerging winners in the former while also knocking out India in the league stage. In 2011 however, Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli hit twin centuries to exact sweet revenge.This will be the 1st time that the 2 sides will face each other in ODIs after the thrilling final of the Asia Cup in 2018 when India just managed to scrape past their opponents in a low-scoring game.Bangladesh would no doubt be looking to reverse this trend as they look to enhance their reputation of being serious contenders at World events. Having beaten sides like West Indies and South Africa already at this World Cup, Bangladesh have proved that they are not minnows anymore.Mashrafe Mortaza’s men will also know that India have a few weaknesses that can be exploited, for instance their fragile looking middle-order which came a cropper against England in the last match. With MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav struggling for form and the uncertainty regarding India’s No. 4 position (set to be occupied by Rishabh Pant), Bangladesh already have some homework to do before they take the field on Tuesday.advertisementBut Bangladesh have inner battles to fight before targetting India’s problems as the team has had a reputation of throwing away games from winning positions against India in the recent past – be it the 2016 World T20, the Nidahas Trophy or the aforementioned Asia Cup final.No matter who comes out on top in the end, one thing is for sure: the game will not be short on entertainment as fans from both the sides are expected to flood the stands at Edgbaston.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Kedar Jadhav likely to be dropped over lack of intent vs EnglandAlso Read | Surprised that there are questions on Dhoni’s batting everyday: Sanjay BangarAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Mayank Agarwal to replace Vijay Shankar in India squadAlso Read | You all wanted Rishabh Pant to play, there he is at No. 4: Rohit Sharma’s epic reply to journalist