Ahmedabad, November 18
Former India cricketer Suresh Raina reminisced about his match-winning partnership with all-rounder Yuvraj Singh in the 2011 World Cup clash between the Men in Blue and Australia.
India will be facing the Australia team in the final of the Cricket World Cup. On the eve of the clash, Raina talked about the conversation he had with legendary Sachin Tendulkar before he stepped out to the crease and the on-field environment as he stitched up an unbeaten 74-run partnership.
Twelve years ago in 2011 the Men in Blue faced Australia at Motera stadium and emerged victorious following the exceptional batting performances by Suresh Raina (34*) and Yuvraj Singh (57*).
"The Australian squad of 2011 was strong and led by Ricky Ponting, from sledging to strong bowling and exceptional fielding they had everything, I clearly remember Gautam, Sachin, Dhoni all got out and it was my time to bat. Paji (Sachin) was sitting next to me in the dressing room and he told me to go and finish the match. Yuvraj and I stitched up a partnership, though we didn't require lots of runs we still had pressure to win, but, at the same time we also had to play aggressive cricket," Raina told ANI.
The chase of 261 became more of a challenge as the Australian players switched to sledging to break the concentration of both batters.
"I remember they (Australia players) sledged us many times and even Brad Haddin came in front of me while I took a run, but we kept calm and focused," Suresh Raina told ANI.
Australia and India have produced some nail-biting encounters over the years and Sunday will mark the first time in twenty years, that Australia will face India in the final of the ODI World Cup.
Raina hailed Australia's mentality and talked about how their mindset makes them a tough opposition to face especially in the final.
"Australia is a team that loves to play semi and finals and they are the team of big games as they know how to play better, their mindset is pretty strong and with the double century of Maxwell and back-to-back wins will boost their confidence to next level, so we can't take them lightly but on the other hand Indian squad is quite dangerous this time with batting and balling and their strong fielding is icing on the cake, so I am sure the encounter on 19th will be full with entertainment," Raina added.
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