Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Suresh Raina could have been managed a lot better by the Indian team-management. The left-handed batsman sprung a big surprise on Saturday when he announced his retirement from international cricket.
He announced the decision just few minutes after MS Dhoni also retired from international cricket. But while Dhoni’s retirement was pretty much on the cards for quite some time now, not many had expected Suresh Raina to bow out at just 33.
Chopra is also surprised by Suresh Raina’s decision as he lavished praise on the former India batsman. The former cricketer-turned-commentator stated that the Chennai Super Kings’ star’s decision to quit international cricket was totally unexpected due to multiple reasons, with the primary one being that he was just 33 years old.
“This was actually a bolt from the blue. And there are 2-3 reasons for that. Firstly, Raina is only 33 years old, so he is fairly young,” Chopra said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Further, he talked about the recent interaction he had with Suresh Raina, where the latter had expressed his desire to stage a comeback to the Indian team. Suresh Raina, who was an integral part of Team India’s limited-overs squads not very long ago, played his last international match in 2018. At present, he was nowhere in the picture to return to the national team.
“Second thing is that we had done an interview with Suresh Raina recently in which he regularly said that he was looking forward to play for India again. He said that he was doing his best and would be scoring a lot of runs. He said that after his knee surgery he was feeling stronger and hitting the ball well,” said Chopra.
Chopra went on to say that he was delighted with Suresh Raina’s desire of returning to the Indian team, considering that there are a couple of T20 World Cups scheduled over the next two years.
“I was very happy because Raina is a special player and there were two T20 World Cups coming in two years, so why not Raina. Thirty-three is no age for a guy as fit as Suresh Raina,” he said.
“And then he was posting videos on Instagram etc where he was regularly practicing and putting lot of effort. When you see someone putting so much effort, you feel that it is going to happen.
“In fact, the only thing I was looking forward to was him playing for CSK and scoring a lot of runs and forcing the selectors to pick him,” he added.
‘Raina deserved better’:
Chopra further highlighted how Suresh Raina was never given a fixed batting spot by the team-management as he said the former India batsman deserved better. He concluded by stating that the team-management could have managed the batsman in a better way.
“Raina deserved better. I think Raina could have been handled a lot better. Because when he made a comeback also, in one of the three matches he scored 40-50 I think and in one match he remained not out and was dismissed early in the other match. But he did not get a chance after that,” said Chopra.
Having made his debut in 2005, Suresh Raina served Indian cricket for 13 years. The middle-order batsman, who was an important part of the team that won the 2011 World Cup, retired after playing 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20Is for India, scoring 768, 5615 and 1605 runs respectively. He also has 36 ODI wickets to his name and 13 each in Tests and T20Is.
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