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Last Updated Saturday March 24 2018 05:54 AM IST

Shastri hails Raina a 'fearless' cricketer

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Suresh Raina Suresh Raina is all smiles as he poses with the man-of-the-match trophy after the third T20I against South Africa. IANS

Swasbuckling batsman Suresh Raina made a successful comeback to the Indian side after a one-year break in the recent three-match Twenty20 International series against South Africa. Raina, who was promoted to No. 3 ahead of in-from captain Virat Kohli, scored 89 runs at a strike rate of 153.44 in the series.

The left-hander came up with a breezy 43 off 27 balls and claimed one wicket with his off-spin to help India beat South Africa in the series-decider and win the series 2-1. Raina was also adjudged man of the match. Now, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has lauded the Uttar Pradesh player's contributions and hailed him a 'fearless' cricketer.

"He's vastly experienced and he showed what experience can do. What I liked the best was he was fearless," Shastri told a leading national magazine.

"What I liked was the intent because normally when you come back into a side after a long period of time you can be playing for your place. And that can put added pressure on you. But he went out there as if he was never out of the side and batted in that fashion. It was very good to see," Shastri said.

Raina scored 12 boundaries and two sixes in his comeback series and was also brilliant in the field.

The 31-year-old has been included in the 15-member squad for the T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka. India open their campaign against the hosts on Tuesday. Bangladesh are the other side in the competition.

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