Suresh Raina Biography
Suresh Raina is regarded as one of India’s finest T20 batsmen. He stormed into the international scene during the Greg Chappell era. However, after a blistering start, his form dipped over the next year. Then, injury struck so his career was paused in the latter part of the 2007 season.
But it was the IPL that helped revive his career from the ashes. Suresh Raina cemented his spot as a capable finisher for the side, often chipping in with priceless cameos apart from getting the sizable knocks.
A big example of Raina’s big match temperament was the way he chipped in during the 2011 quarterfinal against Australia and then the semifinal against Pakistan. Both were cameos statistically but were worth its weight in gold.
Raina was the first Indian player to hold a century in all three formats of the game and although red-ball cricket wasn’t his cup of tea, his contributions in the other formats were valuable to Indian cricket. There has always been immense criticism about his short ball Achilles heel in limited-overs cricket, but it does not qualify as a flaw.
Time away from the Indian team wasn’t good for Raina as he wasn’t quite able to make the runs in domestic cricket. He still played T20Is although he found himself strangely dropped from there as well, ironically after a Man of the Match performance against England in early 2017.
After a really lean patch, Raina shone in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, India’s domestic T20 tournament, in early 2018 and earned himself a recall to the Indian side for the T20 series in South Africa. He did decently well in South Africa, which pressed the selectors persisted with him for the Nidahas Trophy and the England tour. However, he was not picked for the national side after that due to not-so-great fitness levels and others grabbing opportunities. This meant he was out of the reckoning for the 2019 World Cup as well.
Raina was the backbone of Chennai Super Kings’ success. His dashing left-hand style of play at No. 3 gave CSK the luxury to attack at will with a lot of firepower left down the order. The fact that he is currently the highest run-getter in the history of IPL. It explains the importance of Raina’s contribution to the side.
The lofted straight drive (or hitting in the V) is a shot fans savour to watch as he audaciously plays without fear in a tournament like IPL. He recorded his highest-score in IPL – 100 not out against Kings XI Punjab in 2013 in Chennai, but his blitzkrieg (87 runs off just 25 balls) against KXIP in Qualifier 2 in 2015 standouts amongst all of his IPL performances.
Raina also bowls very useful right-arm off spin and was often used by Dhoni when he had to look for breakthroughs or try something different. However, he has not been bowling of late with many other options being available for the captain. When CSK faced a two-year exile after the 2015 season, Raina captained the temporary franchise Gujarat Lions as well. When CSK returned from the hiatus, he was one of the three players retained by the franchise . He has been one of the greats in IPL history, referred fondly as ‘Mr.IPL’ due to his dominance in the tournament, where he has scored in excess of 400 runs every year, barring two seasons.
Expectations for IPL 2019
Suresh Raina is an excellent player and will be a key weapon for CSK’s 4th IPL title.