Suresh Raina: I was hurt after being dropped from Indian team despite performing

Suresh Raina said he was "hurt" after being dropped from the Indian team despite performing well, but now that he is back in the mix, the southpaw is determined to make the most of the upcoming T20 series in South Africa. "I was hurt on getting dropped even after performing well. But now I have cleared the Yo-Yo test and feeling so strong. During all these months of hard training, the desire to play for India again grew only so much stronger," Raina told Aaj Tak yesterday.

"I won't leave it here. I have to play for India for as long as possible. I have to play the 2019 World Cup because I know I have done well in England. There is still a lot left in me and I am extremely confident of doing well in these three games in South Africa," he said. Raina, 31, has played 223 ODIs and 65 T20s but he feels like a debutant again. "Yes, I am 31 but, as they say it, age is just a number. The other day when my match clothing arrived, I had the same feeling like I got before making my India debut. It is so special," he said.

The left-hander last played for India in the T20 series against England and scored an impressive 63 in the final match at Bangalore in February last year. "My family became my biggest strength during this trying time. I played a lot of domestic cricket and focused on clearing the Yo-Yo test too."

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