Suresh Raina wants to use the upcoming T20I series in South Africa to fight his way back into India’s 50-over side ahead of the World Cup next year.
Raina was recalled to India’s T20 squad for the three-match series against the Proteas that starts on Sunday with the left-hander’s last appearance in the shortest format for his country coming in February last year.
The 31-year-old’s last ODI came more than two years ago but he still feels he can make a contribution in the 50-over format.
Raina told India Today: “It feels like I’ve been selected to the Indian team for the first time.
“I have worked hard for the past two years, so when I saw my India jersey I felt a bit emotional that I got the jersey after quite a while.
“Like you said, the three games will be quite important. I have done well in whatever opportunities I have got [recently].
“These T20 matches are important, then Bangladesh [T20 tri-series] and then IPL.
“Fifty-overs does need experience – it makes a lot of difference. Because this position is such, that you’ll come to bat when the team is in trouble.”
Raina also said that he is now over a shoulder injury that he had and can contribute with the ball if he needs to.
He feels that he could add value to the side if he can do more than just bat in the middle-order.
Raina continued: “I am also prepared to bowl three-four overs. My shoulder is solid too.
“You see, you need to chip in, bowl well, field well, so that the captain feels ‘yeah, this fellow is a utility player at No. 4-5′”.
The first T20 between the Proteas and India will take place at the Wanderers on Sunday followed by games in Centurion and at Newlands.