My wife Priyanka motivated me, says 'truly prepared' Suresh Raina

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Bengaluru, Sep 25: India's middle-order batsman Suresh Raina has revealed how his wife Priyanka has motivated him to stay fit and be ready for an important series against South Africa starting next month.

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Raina, speaking to the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) official website, stated that his vacation with Priyanka in The Netherlands not only made him relax but also fine-tune his cricket skills for the new season. Raina and Priyanka got married in April this year.

A file photo of Priyanka and Raina

The left-hander was in Amsterdam in August for a month-long training at the Amsterdam Cricket Club (ACC). He trained on synthetic pitches.

"I spent quality time with my wife and in-laws. I was in a relaxed mode and at the same time was focused on my game and fitness. I practised with the Dutch cricket team in Amsterdam at their camp and faced a lot of quality bowlers in the nets.

"I spent a lot of time polishing my fielding skills - taking catches at point. I also did meditation and yoga, a lot of running in the park and cycling," Raina, who is currently with the Indian team at a preparatory camp in Bengaluru, told bcci.tv.

Explaining his training abroad, the 28-year-old said, "The kind of routine I had there, helped me stay relaxed mentally and active physically. I spent a lot of time with the Dutch team, going to barbeques, playing football and hockey.

"It was a crucial break for me because after my marriage, I had hardly got to spend any time with my wife. It makes a lot of difference; puts you in a happy mental space.

From left: Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Stuart Binny and Virat Kohli at Team India's preparatory camp in Bengaluru

"I am lucky that Priyanka leads a very active lifestyle herself. She would wake me up in the morning and say, ‘let's go to the gym' or ‘let's go cycling or a run'. Having that motivation from your partner makes the workouts more fun."

According to him, all the training in Amsterdam has "truly prepared" for the South African challenge at home.

"As I relaxed, I also started to think clearly about my game. I recalled all the time spent with my team mates and all the victories we celebrated. That has made me hungry to go back on the field and play. I am well and truly prepared to face South Africa," he said.

India and South Africa play 3 T20Is, 5 ODIs and 4 Tests starting from October 2.

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