What a change in format can do to your performance? A lot perhaps,in case you are Suresh Raina. The man who was all at sea against Graeme Swann and short deliveries in the just concluded Test match series took care of both the demons and in the process made life a lot easier both for himself and for his side.
The first ball he faced from Swann was effectively dispatched over extra cover courtesy an inside out. While a shorter one from Broad was swatted for the maximum over deep midwicket. As all this happened within the first five balls faced by the south paw it must have soothed the nerves of someone who was tattooed “I can’t play a bouncer” by the media. Raina who came when India was precariously placed at 102 for 4 after 12.5 over was instrumental in India reaching 165 on a ground where average score is 139. His quickfire 33 from 18 deliveries could pave the way for India to register their first victory against England in the so far dismal tour.
Before Raina rediscovering his touch, two debutants one a youngster and the other not so,gave a rollicking start at the top. Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Dravid who made their twenty-20 debuts for India played as if they have played the shortest format all their lives. Right from the second ball faced by Rahane which was beautifully dispatched over point ala Sehwag till Samit Patel was carted for three consecutive sixes by Dravid it never looked as,if 4-0 apocalypse ever happened. First ten overs yielded 79 runs and a half century on debut by Rahane before four quick wickets reminded the viewers of a now familiar collapse. Suresh Raina’s cameo, however, ensured that the latter part of the innings was better than the first.
Who knows? may be the second part of India’s summer in England would be better then the first.