When consistency meets controlled aggression, then the result will be nothing short of a dashing Suresh Raina wearing the yellow jersey of Chennai Super Kings. It is well understood that Raina got a new lease of life ever since the IPL began way back in 2008. After making his debut for National side in 2005, Raina didn’t replicate his domestic success on International stage and struggled for consistency. He played a match winning innings of 81* against England at Faridabad. But taking that particular innings out of proportion, Raina was nothing more than a young and emerging cricketer who was drafted into the National team before than he was supposed to.
He didn’t last long in the National squad for long time and was dropped from the squad soon after. India were shammed in the 2007 ICC World Cup followed by an ODI series defeat to the hands of England before winning the inaugural edition of the 2007 World T20 under the new skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The appointment of Dhoni might have changed the fortunes for Raina as he started to perform exceedingly well in the domestic circuits which helped him to earn a National Call-Up for the 2008 CB series down under against Australia and Sri Lanka. Then came the biggest of chances for Suresh Raina to prove his worth.
The Indian Premier League idea was proposed, players’ auctions were held and Chennai Super Kings acquired the services of Suresh Raina apart from landing MS Dhoni as the skipper. Chennai’s decision to buy Raina provided a huge turning point for Raina as he grabbed his chances preciously with both his hands and started performing well in the tournament. He was brought back into the National Limited overs team and cemented his place in his very first assignment i.e. the Kitply triangular series involving Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In the following Asia Cup, he scored tons of runs and it meant, Suresh Raina has worked on his flaws, became more mature and consistent during his second innings in International cricket.
Since then, there is no turning back for the Uttar Pradesh lad, who maintained his consistency throughout. His records in the IPL might be the best proof for how consistent this lad has become. Having scored over 400 runs in each and every edition of the IPL, Raina is the leading run scorer of the tournament and he is also India’s leading run scorers in T20 format as well. He has been the backbone of Chennai Super Kings as he won them many matches single-handedly including the 2014 CLT20 finals a couple of nights back. He has carried his consistency to One Day International cricket and succeeded in that format as well. Amidst all these, he had few issues in facing the rising deliveries which leads to his dismissal too often and the bowlers took advantage of it and bowled bouncers at him whenever he was on crease.
He worked on his weakness in the recent months and posing a huge a huge threat to the bowlers all over the world. He played a crucial innings against Australia in the quarter finals of the 2011 World Cup and the team management will expect him to be the vital cog wheel when India boards the flight to Australia to defend their World Cup crown.
Even inspite of being very consistent in the limited over games, playing tests regularly is still a distant dream for Raina, who is the first and only Indian to have scored hundreds in Tests, ODI’s and T20’s. But the way he is working on his game, a regular spot in the test XI should not be an issue.