Suresh Raina recalls 2011 Ahmedabad atmosphere under Australian sledging
Veteran India cricketer Suresh Raina recalled his match-winning stand with all-rounder Yuvraj Singh during the 2011 Cricket World Cup clash between India and Australia. India are now gearing up to face Australia in the final of the 2023 ODI World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, Sunday.
In 2011, Motera Stadium witnessed India’s triumph over Australia, propelled by a remarkable batting display from Raina (34*) and Yuvraj (57*). Reflecting on the eve of the upcoming final, Raina shared insights into his conversation with Sachin Tendulkar before he went to bat and the on-field ambience during their unbeaten 74-run partnership.
“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 was quoted as saying by rediff.com.
He mentioned that chasing a 26-run target turned into a greater challenge as Australia resorted to sledging, aiming to disrupt 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,” he added.
Australia is a team that loves to play semis and finals: Raina
Australia and India have produced numerous thrilling contests throughout the years, and Sunday’s clash will mark the first instance in two decades the two sides lock horns in the 50-over World Cup final. In anticipation of this pivotal clash, Raina commended Australia’s mindset, emphasising how their mental approach makes them a formidable side, particularly in the final. Nevertheless, he added that India poses a significant threat this time, showcasing prowess in both batting and bowling, and their robust fielding serves as an added advantage.
“Australia is a team that loves to play semis 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, it will boost their confidence to the next level, so we can’t take them lightly. But on the other hand, the Indian squad is quite dangerous this time with batting and bowling, and their strong fielding is icing on the cake, so I am sure the encounter on the 19th will be full of entertainment,” the 36-year-old added.
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