Suresh Raina admitted it wasn’t a pleasant experience knowing that people linked his place in the team to his friendship with MS Dhoni. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni were great teammates but even better friends. From playing together for India to representing Chennai Super Kings to announcing their international retirements on the same day, the duo shares a great bond.
The camaraderie shared between the two is one that is rarely seen between two top-level cricketers and theirs is a pair that is immortal when it comes to India cricket’s fabled duos.
Suresh Raina Said MS Dhoni Knew How To Get The Best Performance Out Of Him And He Trusted The Keeper
In his recently released autobiography, Believe, authored by veteran sports journalist Bharat Sundaresan, Suresh Raina revealed how MS Dhoni played a part in bringing the best out of the left-handed batsman but admitted that it wasn’t a pleasant experience knowing that there were people who always linked his place in the team to his friendship with the former India captain.
“Dhoni knew how to get the best performance out of me, and I trusted him. 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,” Suresh Raina wrote.
Between the two, MS Dhoni made his India debut first. The former India captain played his first match for India on December 23, 2004 – during an ODI against Bangladesh, where he was run out without scoring. Seven months later, Raina made his Indian team debut. July 30, 2005, is when the left-handed southpaw would make his debut for India in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Dambulla.
Suresh Raina And MS Dhoni Announced Retirement On The Same Day 15th August 2020 And Both Played For CSK Mostly
Over the next few years, MS Dhoni and Raina would go on to become the linchpin of India’s middle order, especially in ODIs, along with the prolific Yuvraj Singh. Unfortunately, Raina injured his knee and required surgery in 2006, which kept him out of action for six months. He was still recovering by the time the 2007 T20 World Cup came rolling and had to miss the event that would prove to be a defining moment for Indian cricket.
However, Suresh Raina would light up the next edition of the T20 World Cup in 2009, becoming India’s first-ever T20I centurion. He was also the first Indian batsman to score a century in all three formats for India.
The MS Dhoni-Suresh Raina camaraderie continued for years as India won the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy, with MS Dhoni being at the helm and Suresh Raina being his go-to man. Fittingly, the duo announced their retirement on the same day, August 15, 2020.
Raina had so far scored 5,491 runs in 195 innings(200 games) for CSK and Gujarat Lions averaging 33.07 and is 3rd highest run-scorer in IPL history. He managed 123 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021 after pulling out of the tournament in 2020 citing personal reasons.
The 39-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni is India’s most successful captain winning the 2011 World Cup final win on home soil and also guided them to victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup final in 2007 and the Champions Trophy 2013. He last played in the 2019 World Cup, where he was run out, much like in his debut match in 2004.
Apart from being a good batsman, Suresh Raina was exceptional on the field too often patrolling the point and cover regions with his brilliant acrobatic fielding saving run at crucial junctures and affecting run-outs. The Uttar Pradesh-born Raina was India’s designated finisher along with former India skipper MS Dhoni. Raina was a part-time right-arm off-break spinner too and picked crucial wickets at much-needed intervals.