Amidst all the fanfare surrounding Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement on Saturday evening, his good friend and long-time teammate Suresh Raina also retired from international cricket. It was, in a way, a poetic end to the career of a man who rarely found himself in the limelight.

In a career spanning 15 years, Raina proved to be a reliable middle-order batsman for India in limited overs cricket. Blessed with an uncanny ability to score his runs quickly, he was often tasked with batting at the rear end of the innings. He formed an effective partnership with the more illustrious Dhoni, and the duo finished many games for India together.

A lot of Raina’s teammates expressed surprise at Raina’s decision to retire. Most were of the opinion that the left hander, who is currently 33, had a bit more cricket left in him.

Here’s a look back at Raina’s finest moments on the cricket field…

India’s first T20I century

Raina became the first Indian to score hundreds in all three formats of the game, when he scored a sensational century against South Africa in the 2010 World T20.

The forgotten cameos from the 2011 world cup

In two knock out games of the world cup, Suresh Raina came in to bat in difficult situations. It was the quarterfinal against Australia. India were five wickets down and needed 74 more runs to win at almost run-a-ball when Raina walked out. He eased the pressure off Yuvraj Singh with a quickfire 34 off 28 balls, as the latter scored a half century and took India home. The next game was the semifinal against Pakistan, where Raina batted with the tail to take India from 205 to a respectable 260, making a 39-ball 36 in the process. It is perhaps because they weren’t big scores that these knocks aren’t fondly remembered. But they were absolutely integral in taking India to the final.

One of India’s finest fielders

Few would disagree. The sight of Raina pulling of spectacular catches and run-outs and saving tons of runs was not an uncommon one. Here’s a compilation.

Indian fans will fondly remember Suresh Raina as a selfless cricketer who always put the team before self and took joy in the success of others. He was always the first person to run to the bowler to celebrate a wicket. Indian cricket will miss his cheerful presence.

Also read: Farewell MS Dhoni, There Will Never Be Another Like You


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