Suresh Raina India
Suresh Raina will be crucial for India in the upcoming World CupReuters

Despite not being in good batting touch, Suresh Raina forms the backbone of the Indian middle order for the upcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Raina, having played an important role in the last World Cup, needs to take over the mantle from Yuvraj Singh in the middle overs, where the Punjab lad was exceptional in the last edition of the competition in India.

Yuvraj Singh has not found a place in 2015 World Cup team. But, one look at the Indian squad reflects only a few players remain from the 2011 squad, which defeated Sri Lanka in the finals of the competition.

So, the present Indian team has a refreshing look with many youngsters.

"It is a fresh tournament and we are ready to go. We are young and we have got a lot of time to bond within ourselves. We are hungry and ready to enjoy ourselves," Raina told reporters in Australia.

"The World Cup is the biggest tournament for us now. We need to look to be positive all the time and enjoy each other's company."

During the 2011 World Cup, Suresh Raina had a number of players, who he could look up to and seek advice, but the scenario has changed now. There might be a number of players who could walk up to him and seek advice.

"In the 2011 World Cup, we had a lot of meetings and Sachin Tendulkar led most of them. I spent a lot of time with (then India coach) Gary Kirsten and Yuvraj Singh in that World Cup. Yuvi was batting in the middle-order with me that time," said Raina.

Yuvraj and Dhoni played huge hands during the 2011 World Cup and it is from these two players that Raina learned the trade of playing free cricket.

When on song, Suresh Raina can create havoc with some aggressive stroke play.

"I have learnt from Dhoni and Yuvi to play free cricket. In the previous World Cup, Yuvi finished games well with the bat and Zaheer did the job with the ball. But now this is a new team and we've got to be in the present and not think too far ahead."

Not only has the team structure changed, but some new rules have also come into being, which the team needs to adapt.

"This World Cup is going to be different with two new balls and new rules and we need to back ourselves and our strengths," he added.

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