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Jeet Raval on battling crippling nerves and a maiden Test century that's so far eluded him

Black Caps opener Jeet Raval admits his bid for a maiden Test century plays on his mind.

Jeet Raval Source: Photosport

Raval told Stuff he was crippled by nerves early in his career and struggled to sleep the night before his Test debut against Pakistan in 2016 at Hagley Oval, where the Black Caps will face Sri Lanka in the Boxing Day Test.

"I literally had to get up 10 times thinking is it seven o'clock yet? Is it seven o'clock yet?, but it was only one hour into my sleep every time," he said.

"I was sweating like anything. I had to have a couple of showers that night. I didn't get much sleep the night before and I was pretty nervous."

He said he had relaxed through his 15-Test career, though he still got nervous before batting.

"If I'm laughing or relaxing too much I can be a bit loose going into my batting. It's nice to have a little bit of nerves, which keeps you on the edge," he said.

"I really like that because I know I'm focused and I'm making sure I'm ready for the task ahead."

It’s been a lean 2018 for Raval, who is averaging just 19.9 in the calendar year that hasn’t featured a half-century.

After being dismissed for 43 in the first Test against Sri Lanka, Raval will get one final opportunity for the year in Christchurch in the Boxing Day Test to bring up his first 50.

He admitted a maiden Test century was something that played on his mind.

Having been dismissed three times in the eighties during his career, Raval said he took inspiration from captain Kane Williamson in his bid to become a Test centurion.

"I'd be lying if I said it's not playing upon my mind. It is frustrating, but I've got to make sure I don't focus on it too much and keep coming back to things which are team orientated, which is what this team is about," he told Stuff.

"That's what Kane Williamson talks about over and over again, you put your personal milestone behind the team ones. Whatever we do is done towards the team."