Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina is going to be an important batsman for India against South AfricaReuters

Apart from the opening position, Suresh Raina has batted at various positions in the India team. The left-hander is happy to bat at any position in the upcoming series against South Africa as well, but wants MS Dhoni to stay at no.4.

Raina has been an integral part of the Indian middle order in coloured clothing and has always batted as per the requirements of the team. Though he is an aggressive batsman by nature, Raina has curbed his instinct and played some patient innings when India have lost early wickets.

Raina, who believes coming in to bat at no.5 or 6 is not an easy task, is happy with whatever role his captain, Dhoni, gives him in the upcoming series against South Africa, who will play 3T20s, 5 ODIs and 4 Test matches against India starting 2 October.

"No.5 and 6 are not easy positions to bat at," Raina told BCCI's official website. "You go out there and have to score 15 runs in five balls or 50 in 20 balls.

"At home I might not get a chance to bat, might get 10-15 overs or only 10 balls. But I am prepared for it. I know what my role is. I have batted everywhere except the opening positions, so I know how to bat where.

"I enjoy that responsibility. MS knows my game inside out and I would be happy to play whatever role he deems is right for me."

The Indian middle order comprises players such as Ajinkya Rahane, Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu amongst others, so there is no permanent batting number for any of these players. With Virat Kohli coming in to bat at number three regularly, Raina wants Dhoni to bat at no.4, as it could make task for the batsmen in the lower middle order easier.

"If MS decides to bat at 4 regularly, it will only benefit the team. It will make life easier for the batsmen to follow. He can build the innings with the top-order and accelerate with the lower-middle order," added Raina.

With the batting order being flexible, these batsmen need to be ready to come out to bat at any number when required. Raina is aware of the fact that batsmen might not get their favourite batting positions, but the players in the team are OK with it, as their main objective lies in helping the team win, irrespective of the individual records.

"Many batsmen will not get their favourite batting positions in the time to come. We saw that in the Sri Lanka Test series as well. But the boys don't mind it because the culture of the current team is moulded in such a way that personal milestones are no more important. It is the end result in the favour of the team that counts," said the left-hander.

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