Mohit: ‘Raina brings out the best in you’

Mohit Sharma, who last played for India in 2015, is keen to make a comeback through a healthy domestic season, starting with Buchi Babu tournament.

Mohit Sharma will take the field almost after three months.   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

Out of favour India bowler Mohit Sharma, who is one of the headlining cricketers at the Buchi Babu tournament starting here on Saturday, is upbeat to compete in the event as it offers stage rehearsal ahead of the domestic season.

“This tournament means a lot because it happens at the start of the season. We get enough match practise and it helps us prepare better for the season. I also have fond memories of playing the tournament as a 16-year-old in the initial days of my career. So, there is personal attachment too,” Mohit told Sportstar.

He will represent Haryana and will take the field almost after three months. The right-arm medium bowler last appeared in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab. “But there is nothing to worry, I have been training with Amit Tyagi (Haryana's physiotherapist) to keep fit. There were niggles after the IPL which needed to heal. I am fully fit now,” he added.

His thrill to compete in the tournament doubled when he heard of Suresh Raina’s participation. The southpaw will lead the Uttar Pradesh team in a couple of matches, before heading to Duleep Trophy that starts from September 7.  “When I heard Raina bhai is also coming here, I got a feeling that the tournament will be interesting. He is a hard working cricketer and I have been working out my plans too. Hopefully, we both can make an impact,” said the 28-year-old, of his former Chennai Super Kings teammate.

Talking about Raina’s leadership skills, he reasoned, “He is one guy who will bring the best out in you. Both on and off the field, he provides a lot of confidence to his teammates. It is important for a skipper to pass on confidence to his players.”

However, Mohit is also a bit surprised of not earning the Duleep Trophy berth. “It obviously doesn’t feel good, especially when you are fit. I am working hard on my bowling and fielding, hopefully I can make a comeback soon.”

Mohit made his India debut in 2013 and his high point came in the ICC World Cup 2015, where he picked up 13 wickets.