Suresh Raina, who grew up playing cricket on the streets of his hometown in Ghaziabad set himself on the journey of International cricket in the year 2005 where he played a one day international (ODI) match against Sri Lanka. Though his beginning was with a golden duck, his sports career progressed remarkably over the years. Along with being a good left-handed middle-order batsman, his efficiency with off-spin bowling has been a big asset to the team.
The captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni always counted on his ability to stand out and stand up for the team when the pack didn’t do well. He counted on him as strong support in the middle order who was well fitted between the batting order of 3 to 7 and also, to restrict the runs made by the opponents with his spin bowling skills.
Raina has always been in line with M.S. Dhoni. Both of them are good friends on and off the field. However, he’s always been shadowed and accepted by the audience only under the pretext of being next to M.S.Dhoni or to simply put up, lesser noticed individually. It is inevitable to say that Dhoni had a major contribution to his career when he picked Raina while having to make a choice between Yusuf Pathan and Suresh Raina in the World Cup 2011.
To add, he is the player to have played all seasons of Indian Premier League(IPL), majorly with Chennai Super Kings(CSK), just two with Gujarat Lions and then he was back with his original team CSK. Once again under the captaincy of M.S.Dhoni and it takes further the legacy of their much talked about batting partnership which first happened a decade ago in the IPL itself.
And on 15th August 2020, India’s legendary Captain cool, M.S.Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket. The same had been in the news around, so was received by the audience with an applaud and with all due honour to his legendary cricketer’s journey. However, what came as a surprise was the announcement by Suresh Raina, just a few minutes later than of Dhoni’s, stating his retirement too, from international cricket.
He didn't even follow the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI’s) protocol, he first announced it over social media and next day formally put it across the board. When spoken about it, he stated it as a mutually planned decision to retire on 15th August. As Dhoni being the player with Jersey no. 7 and himself being with jersey no. 3, putting together as number 73, and India completed 73 years of Independence. So they set this date to free themselves from their lifeline Cricket in its International format.
As amazing as it sounds, it was received with a mixed reaction by the cricket lovers and Raina fans, it was once again perceived as being shadowed or being influenced by Dhoni’s decisions and presence around him in the field and while getting off the field as well.
Well, that speaks a lot of their journey together and now they were to continue their association by playing for team CSK in the IPL 2020. However, late last week, Suresh Raina declared exit from IPL 2020 owing to his personal family reasons.
How far it's about the personal reason or its because of the too much hype of him being overshadowed by Dhoni, shall come to light in time to come. Until then the audience can cherish their association till date and enjoy some more cricket.