21 February 2024 last updated at 21:37 GMT
Seniors deserve a break: Raina
Friday 03 June 2011

One of the hallmarks of being a great leader is supporting your team. Having played with MS Dhoni, Team India's latest stand-in captain Suresh Raina understands this well. And Raina emulated his India and CSK skipper on Friday by backing the seniors who have decided to skip the West Indies tour. Raina justified the decision of players such as Sachin Tendulkar to skip the tour, saying the seniors "deserved a break".

India’s squad for the T20 international and ODI series in West Indies wears a depleted look with Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni opting out and Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh ruled out due to injuries and illness.

Raina, who will lead the side in tomorrow's one-off Twenty20 and the five-match ODI series after that, said he is looking forward to the challenge of steering a young and inexperienced side.

"(Being captain) is a great challenge to me and I'm really looking forward to that," Raina said after the team's arrival in Port-of-Spain.

"We have good players who want to do well in this series. They have done well in first-class cricket and the IPL or in the World Cup team."

Raina said the senior players "deserved a break" and it was chance for the youngsters to make a name for themselves.

"We have a young team here and they are focused on doing well for India and I am excited to see how they perform over the next few weeks," he was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.

West Indies have been struggling for quite a while, the most recent of their debacles coming against Pakistan. Darren Sammy's men were handed a 2-3 ODI series loss Pakistan but Raina refused to take them lightly.

"The West Indies team has been playing good cricket for the past few months and we are not going to take them lightly," he said.

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