Suresh Raina, the former Indian middle-order batsman, recently sent shockwaves around the cricketing folklore by calling time on his 15-year-old international career at an age of 33. The 2011 World Cup-winner, who last represented India back in 2018, will go down as one of the best white-ball players that Indian cricket has ever produced.
Raina was a three-dimensional player; an epitome of what you call a quintessential white-ball cricketer; someone who could give the innings an impetus with the bat with a whirlwind yet crucial cameo or even build an innings during the middle-overs; he could chip-in with some overs with his off-spin, and of course, he could save a plethora of runs in the field courtesy his outstanding fielding.
Raina, along with the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif are the key reasons behind the whirlwind revolution and improvement in India’s fielding in the past 15-20 years. He was someone who could field at almost any given position and regularly save 10-15 runs every game.
Suresh Raina picks his top-5 fielders
Suresh Raina recently engaged with the ‘Voice of Cricket’ Harsha Bhogle on CricBuzz, where he was given a list of 10 cricketers and five fielding positions inside the circle. The southpaw was asked to pick the five best fielders out of the ten in the five allotted positions.
As expected, the Uttar Pradesh-born cricketer went in with the greatest fielder that this game has ever seen in the form of South Africa’s Jonty Rhodes to field at the backward point region. Raina then proceeded to pick Jonty’s compatriot and another brilliant fielder in the form of AB de Villiers to stand at covers.
Former Australian captain and someone who had pinpoint accuracy when it came to direct hits, Ricky Ponting was picked to field at the mid-wicket region.
Indian duo of Ravindra Jadeja- arguably the best fielder in modern-day cricket- and Yuvraj Singh- one of the greatest of all time- were allotted the mid-off and mid-on position by the southpaw. The fielders who missed the cut are Virat Kohli, Paul Collingwood, Glenn Maxwell, and Martin Guptill.