Suresh Raina is one of the most underrated players in the history of Indian Cricket. The reason he is not rated highly is one of the most mysterious ones ever. The left-hander can be the best player on the field on his day. However, somehow Raina was always left devoid of the much-deserved glory. In an unfortunate event even his retirement did not gather the limelight it should have due to a similar announcement by one of the greatest limited over players in Indian cricket, MS Dhoni.
However, for the faithful of cricket, Suresh Raina will always remain a name etched deep in their memories. The Uttar Pradesh star played many innings of note and on many occasions was the unsung hero of the national team. Let us look at five such innings where he did not receive the due credit:
71 Against Australia in Vishakhapatnam (2010):
India played a three-match series against Australia in 2010. Only one game could be played in its entirety with the first and third games getting washed out. India won the second game to bag the series. However, the explosive innings from Suresh Raina were ignored in the game due to performances from Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh. While chasing 290, Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli stitched an exceptional partnership. However, when Yuvraj Singh got out in the 34th over, a lot of chasing was still left. Suresh Raina played a blinder and scored 71 off 47 deliveries. However, a spectacular 111 from Virat Kohli overshadowed his innings.
82 against West Indies in Kingston (2011):
Suresh Raina made a place for himself in the test squad in 2011. Not considered apt for Test Matches, Suresh Raina played a gutsy knock of 82 runs. He took India from 85/6 to 246. The side won the game by 83 runs. However, Raina’s contributions were again overlooked due to exceptional performances from the bowlers.
120 against Sri Lanka in Colombo (2010):
Suresh Raina made his test debut against Sri Lanka in 2010. Sri Lanka winning the toss scored a massive 642 runs. India made an apt reply with both Sachin Tendulkar and Virendra Sehwag making exceptional contributions. Raina handled his nerves well and scored 120 runs on a spinning track. He achieved a feat of scoring a century on his debut but his performances were overshadowed due to Sachin’s double century and criticism on the flat nature of the wicket.
34 against Australia in World Cup Quarterfinal (2011):
India faced Australia in the World Cup quarterfinal. Australia who hadn’t lost a single knockout game since the 1999 World Cup posted a decent total of 260 on the board. India after a decent start looked troubled at 5/187 38 overs. Suresh Raina who was playing his first game in the World Cup stepped up on the occasions. The gutsy batsman stitched a partnership of 74 runs against a valiant Australian attack. He scored 34 runs in the effort. However, his efforts were overlooked due to the exceptional performance of Yuvraj Singh.
36 Against Pakistan World Cup Semifinal (2011):
The two traditional rivals faced each other in the semi-final game of the 2011 World Cup. India received a decent start and Sachin played a well-fought knock of 85 runs. However, India looked in trouble on a tough track. However, Raina scored a fantastic 36 runs against Australia and fought against an in-form bowling line up of Pakistan. He made sure India reached a respectable total of 260 runs. His runs made the difference at last as India won the game by 29 runs.