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Top 5 Memorable International Innings Of Suresh Raina

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Former Indian batsman Suresh Raina joined his long-standing teammate, MS Dhoni in the retirement line on Saturday. Suresh Raina was not only an outstanding striker of the ball but also a terrific fielder at any position. The southpaw retired after donning the national colours in 18 Tests, 226 ODIs, and 78 T20Is.

Also Read: MS Dhoni’s Record Of Three ICC Trophies Will Stay Forever: Gautam Gambhir

While Suresh Raina made his debut in 2005 under Rahul Dravid, it was under MS Dhoni; he became the mainstay of the Indian middle-order in white-ball cricket for the next decade. The 33-year old was a vital cog of India’s squad that lifted the World Cup in 2011 and Champions Trophy in 2013. In white-ball cricket, Raina maintained a strike rate of 93.50 in ODIs and 134.87 in the shortest format.

We take a look at five most memorable innings from Suresh Raina across formats:

A century on Test debut:

Suresh Raina. (Credits: Twitter)

It was in 2010 in Colombo against Sri Lanka that Suresh Raina’s Test debut beckoned, five years after his first ODI appearance. There were doubts whether a limited-overs specialist like Raina could excel in Tests; however, he put all the doubts to rest. Sri Lanka accumulated 642 on the back of a double-century from Kumar Sangakkara and centuries from Mahela Jayawardene and Tharanga Paranavitana.

Along with Sachin Tendulkar, the southpaw was the only other batsman to reach double figures in India’s first innings. On the other hand, fifties from MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, and Virender Sehwag was significant in the tourists making 707. Eventually, the Test resulted in a draw. The knock of 120 was his only ton in whites while his final Test came in 2015 against Australia.

First Indian batsman to score a T20I hundred:

Suresh Raina. (Credits: Twitter)

Suresh Raina was not part of India’s squad when the nation lifted the T20 World Cup in 2007. Hence, he was keen to make a mark when the tournament held in the West Indies in 2010. After bludgeoning Afghanistan in their opening group game, MS Dhoni’s men were up against South Africa.

At the loss of Murali Vijay in the second delivery of the first over, the left-hander arrived at the crease. He anchored India’s innings to lift them to an imposing 186 in 20 overs. Raina got the man of the match award as India gunned down the Proteas by 14 runs. However, India could not go past the Super eight stage in the competition.

First ODI hundred since January 2010:

Suresh Raina. (Credits: Web)

India already lost the Test series in 2014 against England in an unceremonious fashion. With the first ODI in Bristol abandoned without a ball bowled, the tourists desperately needed a victory under their belt. Suresh Raina was one of the men in India’s ranks, whose spot was under scrutiny. The two teams headed to Cardiff where the hosts elected to field first. Before 30 overs, India lost four wickets for 132 and stood in danger of collapse.

The southpaw reached his hundred in the 46th over as India’s score read as 267 and losing only four that time. He perished in the next over to Chris Woakes for 100 off 75 deliveries, ending a monumental stand of 144 with Dhoni. India took the lead in the five-match series, winning the clash by 133 runs in a rain-curtailed clash with Suresh Raina bagging the man of the match award. It was also his first ODI century outside Asia.

2015 World Cup vs Pakistan:

Suresh Raina [Photo-Getty Inages]
India’s form before the World Cup was quite questionable and they had to face Pakistan in their opening match of the tournament. The then defending champions chose to bat first, getting off to a steady start. After Rohit Sharma perished in the second over, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan added 129 runs for the first wicket.

Dhawan departed in the last ball of the 30th over, but Dhoni promoted Raina to keep the run-rate going. Kohli contributed only 36 out of the 110-run partnership with Raina. The southpaw’s innings lasted for 56 balls, accumulating 74 runs, containing five fours and three sixes. In defence of 300, the men in blue comfortably won by 76 runs and continued their winning streak against Pakistan in World Cups.

Partnership with MS Dhoni against Zimbabwe:

MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina (Credits: Getty)

India were on a rampaging form in the 2015 World Cup and on a five-game winning streak. Their sixth game was against Zimbabwe in Auckland, who had not performed poorly in the tournament either. Zimbabwe’s star batsman Brendon Taylor was once again in the scheme of things, striking 138 in their total of 287. In reply, the men in blue were reeling at 92-4 in the 23rd over.

Raina joined hands with the captain in the middle and clobbered an unbeaten 196-run stand. Raina reached his maiden World Cup ton in the 45th over, punishing Zimbabwe for giving him plenty of reprieves. Dhoni finished unbeaten at 85 while Suresh Raina at 110 as India romped home by six wickets with eight balls to spare. It also turned out to be Raina’s final ODI hundred.

Also Read: Suresh Raina’s Wife Reacts To Her Husband’s Retirement From International Cricket

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Aayushmaan Vishwanathan

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