Suresh Raina announced his pre-planned retirement on Independence Day, minutes after MS Dhoni called time on his career. The decision left the cricket fraternity in shock with most expressing mixed reactions. Cricket commentator Aakash Chopra said that the decision came as a shock to him.
Chopra believes Raina still had something left in him and could go on for a few more years. He also added the former top order batsman looked much fitter and stronger after undergoing surgery. However, Chopra also jokingly said that Raina still has the chance to do a Shahid Afridi, referring to the number of times the Pakistan legend has reversed his retirement.
“Of course, Suresh Raina could have played a lot more, he had no need to retire. Now he is 33 years old and yes there were some injury issues but which player does not have injury issues? And now after surgery he was fitter, stronger and better and in my thinking he was itching to be back on the field.
“You can understand Dhoni’s case as if the IPL has taken place in April-May, the T20 World Cup would have taken place in October-November and maybe Dhoni would have been available for it. But maybe it’s postponement is the main reason why Dhoni retired.
“But Raina had no such problems to be very honest. I would say please do a Shahid Afridi and come out of retirement. I believe that a couple of brilliant IPL 2020 and 2021 seasons can well see Raina in India’s T20 World Cup squad,” Aakash Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Raina had been far from contention to play for the Indian cricket team. He made his last international appearance in 2018 during India’s tour of England and since then has been out-of-favour of the side.
Raina batted at No.3 Or the fourth spot in his career which now belongs to Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer in the recent scheme of things as far as the limited-overs is concerned. Thus he had no chance for a comeback.
Raina retired with an average of 25 in Tests, 35 in ODIs and nearly 30 in the shortest format of the game.