One of the most loved Indian cricketers – Suresh Raina joined his teammate and close friend MS Dhoni for the new phase in life as the two announced their retirement recently.
Suresh Raina, who made his debut for team India under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid in 2005, has been one of the most prolific cricketers in cricket history. He has played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs, and 72 T20Is, where he amassed 9000 runs in his international career. There’s no stopping to him when it comes to the shortest format of the game. He is literally a beast in the shortest format.
Cricketing legend and former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid lauded Suresh Raina by calling him a complete ‘team-man’ who left everything on the cricket field.
In a video posted by the BCCI, Rahul Dravid explained the impact Suresh Raina left behind and recalled how he had a feeling that he will emerge out as an important player for team India. He said:
“Suresh Raina was one of those really young and exciting talents who’ve come through the Indian system. Sort of in the middle of the 2000s, 2004-05, when you’re playing Under19 cricket, doing exceptionally well and you could see even at that time that Suresh was going to be a very important player for India,”
“That’s really how it played out in the last decade and a half. A lot of the success that India has had in white-ball cricket, lot of the great moments, great memories that India has had over the last so many years, Suresh has been a really big part of them. I think his contribution to Indian cricket, especially in the white-ball game has been fantastic.”
He further showered praises on Suresh Raina and explained how he did all the difficult things for India. He said:
“He’s a World Cup winner; he’s a Champions Trophy winner and just the fact that he contributed so much on the field. I mean just his energy, the enthusiasm he brought, the way he raised the standard of fielding,”
“It was one thing you felt that Suresh did all the difficult things for India – batting lower down the order when his numbers could have been a lot better if he’d batted higher up in the order,” Dravid said. “It has reflected in the success he’s had for CSK in the IPL (5368 runs from 193 matches – IPL’s second-highest run-getter) where he bats at No. 3 and has an absolutely phenomenal record. He’s one of the phenomenal players of the IPL in the last decade or so.”
Rahul Dravid further weighed on Raina as a utility player, who could do a bit of everything for his team. He said:
“For India, for the most part of his career, he batted lower down, fielded at difficult positions, bowled some handy overs and always brought a lot to the team. Someone I will think of a terrific team-man, who always gave his best and brought some great energy to the game and was a very skilful batter,”
“I guess he couldn’t replicate the success of a debut hundred and couldn’t build on that in his Test career. But be that as it may, I think his contribution in one-day cricket in India is fantastic. He was part of a very successful Indian one-day team.”