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'Chances are that you’ll play': Suresh Raina recalls Yuvraj Singh's call night before his Test debut against Sri Lanka

While he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2005, Suresh Raina had to wait five years before making his Test debut against the same team.

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DNA Web Team

Updated: May 31, 2020, 03:31 PM IST

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While he made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2005, Suresh Raina had to wait five years before making his Test debut against the same team.

The left-hander who was dismissed for a duck on his ODI debut scored a century on his first Test match in 2010 at the SSC in Colombo.

Recalling the memories of his Test debut and playing alongside Sachin Tendulkar, Raina in a YouTube chat with former India opener Aakash Chopra revealed the circumstances in which he was given his Test cap.

The 33-year-old batsman said that it was former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh who had asked him to be ‘prepared’ as he was down with an upset stomach.

“Yuvi paa (Yuvraj Singh) had called me up the night before the Test match and said, ‘I’m unwell, you be prepared’. He said ‘chances are there that you’ll play’. He probably had a stomach bug or a food infection, so he didn’t play,” Raina told Chopra in a YouTube interview.

Raina also revealed hoe he couldn’t sleep because of this. He said he kept thinking about making his debut against a Sri Lankan side comprising of Kumar Sangakkara, Tilakaratne Dilshan, and Mahela Jayawardena.

“I couldn’t sleep the entire night because it was so hot in Sri Lanka, they had some big names in their team and it was going to be my Test debut,” Raina said.

As for the clash, Sri Lanka had won the toss and had opted to bat first. A double century from captain Sangakkara (219) and centuries from Jayawardena (174) and Parnavitana (100) made the hosts declare at 642/4.

“Luckily we lost the toss and we had to field. So I observed the first two days and when my batting came I was ready. If we had batted then probably I would’ve got a duck-like my ODI on debut,” Raina added.

Raina came in to bat at the fall of VVS Laxman’s wicket and the first thing was to support Tendulkar and help India avoid the follow on, which was still 201 runs away.

Raina slammed 120 and his 256-run stand with Tendulkar and had scored a double century (203) which allowed India not only to avoid follow-on but to also go past Sri Lanka’s mammoth first innings total. 

Virender Sehwag, Murali Vijay, and MS Dhoni had scored important half-centuries as India had posted 707. The Test match, however, had ended in a draw.

Raina became the 12th Indian to score a Test century on debut and the first to score tons in all three formats of the game. However, he played only 18 Test matches for India and explaining the reasons behind the same, Raina said it was because he failed to understand the time and adjustments required while switching formats.

“People think T20 is easy bit we take so much risk in T20s, play the ball in the air. But that is not the case in ODI and Tests, you have to adjust and have good temperament.

“Switching from white ball to red ball cannot be done overnight. You should take at least a couple of weeks practising leaving the ball; know where your fourth stump is. Perhaps I couldn’t understand that balance. I did well in West Indies but got them was dismissed a lot against off-spinners, the bouncers troubled me a few times too. So then got engrossed in too much ODI cricket and I didn’t get enough chance in Tests,” Raina said.

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