Experienced batsman Suresh Raina has made it into the T20 squad for South Africa series after a gap of one year. Raina has had a poor form throughout the season; however, picked back in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to make sure he is ringing bells at the international stage as well.

Raina scored a magnificent hundred against Bengal and followed it up with two fifties in the domestic T20 tournament. He devoted extra time to his fitness, which made him pass the Yo-Yo Test before the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

It was all belief and hard work. I never lost my confidence and kept working hard on my fitness as well as skills. I was always focused on my game and was waiting for some good opportunities,” Raina said.

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Raina admitted that he was looking for one knock which will set the tempo for him.

I need just one good going and I know it will come my way soon. I am raring to go for some good hitting in the middle,” Raina said ahead of the tournament.

Raina, who has so far scored over 7,000 runs in 268 matches, smashed 63 in India’s series-clinching 75-run win over England at Bengaluru in February last year. Since then he was sidelined from Team India, especially after failing the much-debated ‘Yo-Yo’ test.

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India will play three T20s against South Africa with the series starting on February 18.

Raina will be going to National Cricket Academy (NCA) to hone his fitness ahead of the South Africa series. Thus, he will miss the Vijay Hazare Trophy, starting from February 5.

Let’s see what happens at the NCA, and only then I will take a call on the Hazare Trophy matches,” Raina concluded.

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