Raina, the only batsman to score 400 runs in every season of IPL , is arguably the best batsman in the IPL. CSK had a mountain to climb. Johnson picked up the wicket of duPlesis in the very first over.In walked Raina and cleared his intentions right from the word go. He took on Sandeep Sharma and then belted Awana and Johnson. Not water what the bowlers came with, the end result was what Raina wanted. All those who thought that he is not good against short balls,had to shut their mouth. They saw Raina hooking and pulling pacy stuffs from Johnson over the boundary rope .
This innings saw Raina hitting the second fastest half century , and the fastest was hit just a week ago. While Yusuf Pathan’s innings was all about power hitting , this was more of proper cricketing shots. He made full use of the fielding restrictions and even placed the balls well. The effect of his innings was such that Chennai SuperKIngs managed to score 100 runs in first 6 overs, the first team to do so in the history of the IPL. He looked all set to break the record of fastest century in the IPL and even T20 cricket.
But a slight misjudgement on the part of Brendon McCullum caused Raina’s downfall, but not before he put CSK in the driver’s seat yesterday. His innings of 87 runs from just 25 balls comprised of 12 boundaries and 6 sixes. But , for a team man like Raina ,it won’s please it much as it came in a losing cause.
It was an innings which to many experts have presented a glimpse of an improved Raina. He is playing the short balls better, especially after the T20 World Cup. He had a small chat with him before Sourav Ganguly , which seems to be working for him.
Raina , batting the way he is now, is very needed for India to defend their World Cup title in down under. Raina’s contribution went unnoticed in the 2011 World Cup , but his innings against Australia and Pakistan were the ones which got India out of the trouble. His off spins are very handy and on the field , he is a live wire.
Hope to see this young lad go down as greats in the history books.