Suresh Raina ready for IPL return

Batsman had knee surgery

Suresh Raina playing for India

Batsman Suresh Raina is eager to recover from knee surgery and perform well for the Chennai Super Kings in this year's Indian Premier League.

Raina has not played competitive cricket since the 2019 IPL – and underwent surgery in the Netherlands relatively recently.

“It is very important to start your progress slowly. When you are returning from a knee operation, it is very important to not have any worries mentally while training,” Raina told the Times of India.

“I think everything is falling into place. I just want to get strong. The environment is ideal to train here. I am getting specific training for the IPL. The Ranji Trophy is on right now. But I felt I was not ready for first-class cricket again yet. I would have been taking a lot of load on my knee.”

Raina at 2020 T20 World Cup

The hard-hitting left-hander is the second-highest run-scorer in the history of the IPL. Raina, who has also represented the Gujarat Lions in the tournament, has collected 5368 runs in 189 innings. He, like several other Indian batsmen in the IPL, will be in contention for a berth in the squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

“It is too early right now to talk about a comeback to the T20I team. I have always enjoyed my cricket, irrespective of where I play. I have not set any target right now,” added Raina.

“If I am able to do well in the IPL, I will be able to understand how I am shaping up. I have played enough to know what the situation demands. So, my T20 World Cup hopes depend on my performance in the IPL. If I can make my knee strong and have a good IPL, then I know that I have another two to three years of cricket left in me.”

India won the inaugural World Twenty20 (since renamed the T20 World Cup) in South Africa in 2007. They beat Pakistan in that final. They have been grouped with South Africa, England, Afghanistan and two qualifying teams for the 2020 T20 World Cup.

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