Everyone celebrates their wicket, only a few people can celebrate the success of other people. One such team man who played for Men in Blue celebrated every occasion, be it a wicket taken by his team’s bowler, or a half-century by his colleagues like his own. The electric man, Suresh Raina turns 35 today. The first player to score a hundred in all the formats for India is also one of the finest fielders in the history of Indian cricket.
Author:- Ashwin Jangam (Cricket Analyst, host, poet, entertainer )
Insta I'd:- cricket_creativity
The southpaw, a son of a military person was born in Muradnagar, Uttar Pradesh. He shifted to Lucknow to hone his skills. His talent was evident right from the beginning, due to which at the mere age of 15, he was selected for the India U-19 team. He got selected in Ranji trophy for Uttar Pradesh soon, and his performance in the domestic circuit earned him the maiden India call-up.
Only a few players like MS Dhoni and can bounce back after a horrid debut. Both of them were out on a golden duck on their debut but went on to contribute immensely to Indian cricket. Suresh credits the then skipper Rahul Dravid and Irfan Pathan who motivated him to field better in the second half of the game where he was disappointed with poor batting display. Eventually, he continued the legacy to motivate others in the team time and again.
It took 3 years for his maiden ODI century, which he scored in 2008, but the southpaw reached his first 3-digit score right in his debut test in 2010 which happened in Colombo. In the same year, he scored a century in a T20 international against South Africa, becoming the first Indian to score a century in all the formats of the game. He also played a crucial role in the 2011 world cup quarter-final against Australia and semi-final against Pakistan.
Courtesy : ESPN Cric Info
Along with international cricket, Suresh is a very special player for Chennai Super Kings. His contribution to the Men in Yellow is immense along with the likes of MS Dhoni. He has time and again won matches for the most consistent franchise in IPL. A lot of his innings have come in winning cause, but his most special innings was the one that came in a losing cause. The world witnessed his innings of 87 off 25 balls in the semi-final of IPL 2014, where he mercilessly led the onslaught on Kings XI Punjab bowlers. He was almost on the verge to break Chris Gayle’s record of the fastest century but was unfortunately run out by George Bailey. His contribution to the Chennai franchise has earned him a lot of fans. “Chinna Thala” as he is referred to by the Whistle Podu fans, is a term that shows his popularity and love from the fans. This term he cherishes a lot says is the best compliment he received ever and will always be special for him till he lives.
Popular as a batter, he also enjoys a fan following for his fielding. His saves at cover and point region have motivated many other young budding players to increase their level of fielding. Harleen Deol, the superwoman who took one of the finest catches in the history of women’s cricket, says Suresh Raina is her inspiration. The very charming Raina is loved for his fun-loving and gentlemen nature as well. His teammates love him for his constant support to them. I once witnessed a match live in the stadium where after every ball, the ever-enthusiastic Raina went to pat the back of the fielder who saved the runs.
Every Indian loves him, and he loves MS Dhoni from his heart and soul. His love for the legend was visible when he announced immediate retirement from International cricket minutes after Dhoni retired from international cricket on 15th August 2020. Raina’s retirement was a shock to the cricketing world, as he was just 33 years of age when he announced it. He continues to serve Chennai Super Kings and will continue to do so for a few more years to come. His inside out lofted shot over covers is a treat to watch even today. Whenever the name Suresh Raina will pop up in one’s mind, one will remember a calm composed gentleman, a classy batsman, a superb fielder, a constant motivator, a man having almost no haters and the complete team man serving his country to the fullest. I, on behalf of Team Stay featured wish him a very happy birthday.