Suresh Raina big part of India’s success, great memories – Rahul Dravid
Suresh Raina formed an integral part of the Indian cricket team while batting at No.5 or No.6 during the times of MS Dhoni’s captaincy. Raina played some pivotal knocks and became the first Indian player to hit a century in all three formats. The left-hander had the distinction of hitting the most sixes by an Indian player between 2008 and 2015 in ODIs. However, injuries in the last couple of years and with the emergence of other players, Raina’s place in the side was under the scanner. After not being picked for close to two years, Raina finally decided to retire from international duties on the same day when MS Dhoni announced his retirement.
However, the contributions from Raina have been highlighted in a heart-warming post by Rahul Dravid on the official account of the BCCI. Dravid, who handed Raina the ODI and Test cap, mentioned that Raina was part of several memorable moments for India.
“A lot of the success that India has had in white-ball cricket, lot of the great moments, great memories that India has had over the last so many years, Suresh has been a really big part of them. I think his contribution to Indian cricket, especially in the white-ball game has been fantastic,” Dravid said.
Dravid has stated that when Suresh Raina started his journey right from the U19 days, it was clear that he would be a big player for India. “Suresh Raina was one of those really young and exciting talents who’ve come through the Indian system. Sort of in the middle of the 2000s, 2004-05, when you’re playing Under19 cricket, doing exceptionally well and you could see even at that time that Suresh was going to be a very important player for India,” Dravid said.
The former India captain also admitted that Raina batted higher up the order, his numbers would have been different. However, he had the unenviable task of batting at No.5 but yet he managed good numbers, averaging 35 at No.5 and 34 in No.6. Yet, he had a strike rate in excess of 100 while at No.5 while his strike-rate was 86 at No.6.
“Suresh (Raina) did all the difficult things for India – batting lower down the order when his numbers could have been a lot better if he’d batted higher up in the order. It has reflected in the success he’s had for CSK in the IPL where he bats at No. 3 and has an absolutely phenomenal record. He’s one of the phenomenal players of the IPL in the last decade or so. or India, for the most part of his career, he batted lower down, fielded at difficult positions, bowled some handy overs and always brought a lot to the team. Someone I will think of a terrific team-man, who always gave his best and brought some great energy to the game and was a very skilful batter,” Dravid added.