Suresh Raina wants Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to end their title drought by winning the IPL 2021 trophy for MS Dhoni. The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) can be MS Dhoni’s last one with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) if the charismatic leader of the Yellow Brigade opts to call time on an illustrious T20 career at the age of 40.
Suresh Raina, who shares a good camaraderie with MS Dhoni, wants CSK to win its 4th IPL title under leadership in the 14th season of the cash-rich league. There is no denying that former Team India superstars MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina share an exemplary bond. The duo also retired from international cricket on the same day-15th August 2020.
Suresh Raina: CSK Having Extra Confidence From MS Dhoni’s Captaincy
From representing Team India together to winning multiple titles at CSK, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni have been nothing but icons of the gentlemen’s game over the years. Nicknamed Chinna Thala, Suresh Raina played an instrumental role in CSK’s resurgence as the Yellow Brigade bounced back after recording their worst-ever finish last season in Suresh Raina’s absence.
With the 14th season of the cash-rich league being relocated to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the left-hander is optimistic about CSK securing a podium finish in the 2021 edition of the T20 tournament.
The left-handed southpaw wants the Chennai franchise to end their trophy drought in the 2nd leg of the IPL 2021. Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Suresh Raina talked about MS Dhoni’s contributions in rebuilding the crestfallen side ahead of the second leg of the 14th season.
“Hopefully, when we go to Dubai, we will have a camp and we can again win it for him. I think the way we were playing this year, we were having some extra confidence from his captaincy and he was enjoying each other’s success,” Raina said.
Suresh Raina was also pivotal in CSK’s dominance for close to 10 years with his street-smart and risk-free batting. Often coming in at number three, the southpaw would take the games away from the opposition. He has 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.
A couple of senior CSK players – Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh (now with KKR) – had pulled out of the tournament in IPL 2020 citing personal reasons. Their absence, especially, Suresh Raina not being with the team affected CSK’s batting a big time which resulted in CSK not reaching the playoffs for the first time in the IPL history.
Suresh Raina: Hopefully CSK Will Win IPL 2021 For MS Dhoni
Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, CSK has secured the 2nd spot in the IPL 2021 after playing seven matches. CSK is only behind table-toppers Delhi Capitals in the current IPL 2021 standings.
“He was giving freedom to all the players and having Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, and Ruturaj in the side, we had the momentum. Hopefully, we can do it again this year for MS,” Raina added.
The inclusion of Moeen Ali and the stability in their batting order played a massive role in CSK’s revival in IPL 2021. As both Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu hadn’t played any competitive cricket before the IPL 2021, MS Dhoni went with Moeen Ali at No.3. The move paid off well as the English all-rounder amassed 206 runs at an average of 34.33 and a strike rate of 157.25.
Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis, with 13 sixes each, have cleared the ropes on most occasions for CSK in IPL 2021. They are closely followed by Moeen Ali, who has hit 12 maximums thus far. Faf du Plessis continued from where he left in the UAE in 2020 scoring 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 including 4 fifties.
The platform laid by him and opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (196 runs at a strike rate of 128.94) eased the pressure on the middle order and went a long way enabling CSK to put up massive totals. Ambati Rayudu-136 runs, Ravindra Jadeja-131 runs, Suresh Raina-123 runs also were among runs.