Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hunger for Test Match Drives Suresh Raina

Close to Eight years at the international level and yet, Suresh Raina the cricketer is not content.

Having earned flak for not performing up to potential in the Twenty 20 and ODI series against Pakistan and England, Raina worked overtime on his batting and the result is there for all to see a Man of the Series award against England and he has added first time place in the top 10 of the ICC player rankings for ODI batsmen.

But it is not just about the shorter formats for one of India vital cogs. Raina mission is to get back into the Test side and cement his place, after having been part of just 17test matches compared to 159 ODIs and 36 T20Is.Raina said his personal winner had stemmed from the burning desire to score runs consistently.

I think the desire within to make it as a permanent player of the Test team and the intent to play as many 1st- class matches as possible has really helped me a lot. And that is the reason for the success that I achieve in this series.

This was my 1st Man of the Series award and I think the hard work that I put at the nets with Indian team coach Duncan Fletcher, bowling Coach Joe Dawes and fielding Coach Trevor Penney has really helped me. Raina said today.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pietersen agreed full England contract

Kevin Pietersen rubber-stamped his return to the England set-up on Wednesday by signing a full central contract with the England Cricket Board.

Pietersen was August 2012 when he was dropped for the last Test against South Africa over claims he sent text messages to rival players criticizing then-England captain Andrew Strauss.

The South Africa-born batsman next returned to the squad towards the end of 2012, but was only tied to a short-term contract that was due to expire at the end of the month.

However, limited-overs coach Ashley Giles confirmed on Wednesday that the 32-year-old has now signed a full central contract with the England Cricket Board that puts him on a par with the rest of his England team-mates.

The present set of central contracts is due to expire at the end of September. Pietersen endure a turbulent 2012, which saw him announce his retirement from both 50-over and Twenty20 internationals.

He even cast doubt over his future in the Test arena, shortly before he was axed from the side in August over a contentious exchange of text messages with the on tour South Africa team. He missed the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and was not given one of 10 central contracts distributed in September.

However, after holding talks with the England Cricket Board he returned to the England squad in October and then agreed to return in all formats of the match.