12:37 pm - Friday November 6, 2015

We have a lot of options for top slot: Suresh Raina

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India on Friday suffered a setback with opener Rohit Sharma being ruled out of the remainder of the series but star batsman Suresh Raina said the visitors have enough options to fill in for the top slot.

Opening the innings, Sharma had scored 52 runs in the second ODI but he sustained a fracture in the middle finger of his right hand and has been ruled out of the remainder of the five-match ODI series and lone T20.

Murali Vijay has been drafted in as his replacement. In his place, Ajinkya Rahane is expected to open the innings with Ambati Rayudu coming into the playing eleven. The other option is to make Virat Kohli open like he did versus New Zealand in Hamilton but that doesn’t seem likely given the star batsman’s wretched run with the bat at the moment.

“Opening in England is always a difficult job and unfortunately Rohit has got injured. But we have a lot of youngsters and options to choose from,” Raina said.

“Sanju Samson is here and we also have Ambati Rayudu, and we have Murali Vijay coming. He is a Test specialist, but he has done well in ODIs and the IPL. We are looking to be positive and do what we can do on the field. We will discuss in the team-meeting and decide who will open the batting,” he added.

Raina had smashed his first century outside the sub-sontinent to help India trounce England by 133 runs via Duckworth/Lewis in the second ODI at Sophia Gardens and the 27-year-old said he is looking forward to the next games.

“It was a good knock. God has been very kind. I love batting against England,” said Raina referring to his innings.

“I have done it in the past, when I played my first game against them in Faridabad. I got my first man-of-the-match back then. At the same time I am looking at the next game because there is a lot to learn and lot to be achieved. I just want to continue my good form.”

 

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