There are a precious few cricketers in international cricket who hit the ball as sweetly as this talented middle-order batsman from U.P. Suresh Raina has a fondness for the spectaclar innings, and his consistency and track record in limited overs cricket is right up there with the very best. Still very much a vital cog in the Indian side, we take a look at 12 Unknown facts about arguably the best T20 batsman on the planet.
1. Suresh Raina was the youngest of five siblings in a Kashmiri Pundit family, who have origins in the Rainawari quarter of Srinagar.
2. Raina took the decision to take up cricket seriously in 1999, and moved from his city of Ghaziabad (near New Delhi) to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, to attend the specialist Government Sports College. First step of a glittering cricket career.
3. Raina soon became the captain of the Uttar Pradesh U-16s and his impressive performances caught the eye of the selectors in 2002, when he was chosen to represent the India U-19 team on the tour to England, all at the age of 15 and a half! He made two half-centuries on the tour.
4. Raina made his first appearance in the Ranji Trophy for Uttar Pradesh against Assam in February 2003. He was 16 years of age then. Quite an early bloomer, eh?
6. Raina’s heroics at the U-19 World Cup earned him a Border-Gavaskar scholarship to train at the Australian Cricket Academy, and the Southpaw soon made his first class debut in the limited overs format, scoring a handsome 645 runs that season at an average of 53.75.
7. Raina is the only Indian batsman to score a century in each of the three formats of cricket. Mr. Versatile!
8. Raina is the first player to score 2500 runs in the Indian Premier League and also holds the record for the most no. of catches (47) by a non-wicketkeeper.
9. Raina is Mr. Consistent when it comes to the IPL. He has scored 400 runs in each IPL season and became the first Indian to hit 100 sixes in the IPL. Big-hitter with an outstanding range of shots!
11. Raina is the only Indian to score a century in both international T20 and IPL. Incidentally, both knocks came on 2nd May – 2010 and 2013.