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Cricket: Raina targets more England success


India's Suresh Raina hits out during the second one-day international cricket match against England at the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff. Photo - Reuters

Trent Bridge: India's Suresh Raina is looking to carry on from where he left off in the third One-day International against England at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

The 27-year-old's left-handed batsman's score of exactly 100 was the cornerstone of world champions India's dominant 133-run win over England in the second ODI at Cardiff on Wednesday.

That victory put India 1-0 up in the five-match series following Monday's washout in Bristol and saw the team return to winning ways against England after a chastening 3-1 Test campaign defeat earlier on tour.

For Raina, it was his latest ODI success against an England side where his average now stands at nearly 48 in 29 matches compared to a career mark of 35 in 193 matches.  

"The contest between England and India is always challenging. We did well in the last game so the atmosphere in the dressing room is very positive," Raina told reporters at Trent Bridge on Friday.

"Everyone is looking forward to the next three games," he said of a series that marks the start of both India and England's preparations for next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Reflecting on his dynamic 75-ball knock, featuring 12 fours and three sixes, Raina said: "It was good. God has been very kind. I love batting against England.

"I have done it in the past. When I played first game against them in Faridabad, I got my first man-of-the-match. At the same time I am looking to the next game. I just want to continue my good form."

India will be without Rohit Sharma, who made a useful 52 in Cardiff, after the opener was ruled out of the rest of the series with a broken finger suffered while fielding at Sophia Gardens.

India have called up Murali Vijay, who opened in the Test series, as cover but he is not expected to arrive in time for Saturday's match.

Now the tourists could promote Ajinkya Rahane to open alongside Shikhar Dhawan, with Ambati Rayudu coming into the side.

"Opening in England is always a difficult job, but unfortunately he (Sharma) has got injured," Raina said.

"Still we have a lot of youngsters. Sanju Samson is here, we have Ambati Rayudu.

"And we have Vijay coming. He is a Test specialist, but he has done well in One-dayers and the IPL (the Twenty20 Indian Premier League)."

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