Raina to feature in Buchi Babu tournament

After playing in the Moin ud Dowlah Gold Cup in Hyderabad last week, the India batsman will be in Chennai with the Uttar Pradesh side for the All-India Buchi Babu Invitational cricket tournament, which begins on Saturday.

Suresh Raina last played for India in a T20I against England in February this year.

 

The selectors may have left him out of the national reckoning for a while now, but that hasn’t stopped Suresh Raina from working hard for a comeback.

The swashbuckling batsman, who last donned the India colours in February this year, seems to have made it a point to make the most of the pre-season tournaments. After playing for Air India at the Moin ud Dowlah Gold Cup in Hyderabad last week, the India batsman will be in Chennai with the Uttar Pradesh side for the All-India Buchi Babu Invitational cricket tournament, which begins on Saturday.

Raina confirmed the development late on Monday evening. “I will be in Chennai on September 1 for the Buchi Babu tournament,” he told Sportstar. The Uttar Pradesh side, which has big names like Praveen Kumar in its ranks, will be reaching the Tamil Nadu capital on Friday. With Raina leading the side, Mritunjay Tripathi, who worked as an assistant coach last season, will don the coaching hat during the tournament. The side, however, will be missing out on the services of its star spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who is in Sri Lanka with the Indian team as part of the ongoing ODI series.

While the 30-year-old Raina will be one of the major star attractions of the tournament, sources claim that a few other big names could also feature in the iconic tournament.

After being left out of the India side for a while, Raina has made it a point to keep himself fit. While he trained extensively in the Netherlands recently, the batsman also attended a special training camp organised by the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association a couple of weeks back.

Even though he played in the Moin ud Dowlah Gold Cup, not much play could be possible due to inclement weather. Now travelling to familiar surroundings — Chennai (Raina has been one of the old warhorses for Chennai Super Kings) — the batsman will be hoping to make it count.

A few good innings here could well pave his way to Team India ahead of its long home season.