Former India batsman Suresh Raina has a phenomenal record in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and even after skipping the 2020 edition, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) southpaw is still going strong in 2021. After a slow start this year, Raina has notched up 123 runs in 7 games for CSK in IPL 2021 before the league was suspended last month due to rising COVID-19 cases in India.
Now, with the Board of Control in India (BCCI) announcing that IPL 2021 will resume in UAE in September, Raina will look to build on his phenomenal record and help guide MS Dhoni’s to another title. Raina has 200 IPL games under his belt with 5,491 runs including 1 century and 39 fifties and credits Dhoni’s belief in his ability for most of his success.
Now the former middle-order batter opened up about the same in his autobiography ‘Believe’ and spoke in length about his rapport with his Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper.
“Dhoni knew how to get the best performance out of me, and I trusted him,” Raina wrote in his autobiography, praising Dhoni. “When people equate our connection with a spot for me in the Indian team, it hurts a lot. I’ve always worked hard to win my spot in Team India, just as I’ve earned Dhoni’s faith and respect,” Raina added.
CSK are currently in second place on the IPL 2021 points table in spite of losing their first match of the 14th edition of the league to last year’s runners-up Delhi Capitals. Dhoni’s side had failed to make the IPL Playoffs in their history as Raina decided to return home from UAE due to personal reasons.
Apart from being one of the best No. 3 batsman in IPL, Raina was exceptional on the field too often patrolling the point and cover regions with his brilliant fielding. The Uttar Pradesh-born Raina was India’s designated finisher along with former India skipper Dhoni.
While Raina made his international debut on 30th July 2005 against Sri Lanka, Dhoni made his debut against Bangladesh in the year 2004. The duo, over the years, has developed a great bonding due to trust and respect for each other.
Raina was also pivotal in CSK’s dominance for close to 10 years with his street-smart and risk-free batting.