Suresh Raina: A bold Indian force

The 33-year-old dasher from the dusty lanes of Ghaziabad was among India’s finest in the shorter versions of the game with his dare, flair and penchant for opening up the field.

Suresh Raina with the bat speed and footwork made 5,615 runs in 226 One-Day Internationals at a stunning strike rate of 93.50 (File Photo).   -  Twitter

Vibrant, electric and match-winning he was on his day. Now, the mercurial Suresh Raina has decided to bid adieu to international cricket along with his friend and mentor, M. S. Dhoni.

In an Instagram post on Saturday, Raina wrote, “It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781 . With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India. Jai Hind!.”

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The 33-year-old dasher from the dusty lanes of Ghaziabad was among India’s finest in the shorter versions of the game with his dare, flair and penchant for opening up the field.

The left-hander with the bat speed and footwork made 5,615 runs in 226 One-Day Internationals at a stunning strike rate of 93.50. And Raina played his role in India’s triumphant World Cup campaign in 2011 with a delightful cameo against a threatening Australia in Ahmedabad in the quarterfinals.

Soon, Raina led India in the shorter formats on the tour of the Caribbean in 2011. Those were his glory days.

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And in Twenty20 (T20) cricket, he was a formidable force. Raina’s exceptional fielding and steady off-spin added to his immense value. In 78 T20 internationals, he notched up 1,605 runs at a sizzling strike rate of 134.87. Among former Indian coach Greg Chappell’s favourites, he could change gears with ease.

Raina began his Test career with a fighting 120 against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2010. He had a secure defence and a flurry of shots, but a technical flaw against short-pitched bowling saw his Test career being limited to 768 runs in 18 Tests at an average of 26.48.

But when it came to the shorter formats, Raina was a bold Indian force.

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