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.
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) August 16, 2020
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.
Bit shocking but I guess you feel it when you feel it. Good career bro, have a great retirement, still remember the time when we came into the squad 😁 best wishes moving forward @ImRaina pic.twitter.com/63nmPkuiMM
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) August 16, 2020
It’s taken me sometime to digest the news about your retirement @ImRaina , whatever may be the reason for your decision, god bless you in all your future endeavours. Congrats on all your wonderful achievements on the field so far. #RainaRetirement
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) August 16, 2020
Quite shocked about @ImRaina’s retirement.. still feel u have a lot to give to the game in blue, with age and fitness on ur side.. but as they say you know when you know.. all the best for your 2nd inn.. God bless you
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) August 16, 2020
Suresh boy! I thought you had a bit more in you! But nevertheless you have played some really important innings in crucial times for India, specially our epic partnership against Australia in the WC quarterfinals! Go well buddy, have a great IPL ahead 👍🏻 @ImRaina pic.twitter.com/fF4mMXpEjN
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) August 16, 2020
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.
Suresh Raina was the first India player to score a hundred in all three formats of the game 💯💯💯
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) August 16, 2020
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.
🔹 34* runs
🔹 28 balls
🔹 Two fours
🔹 One six
— ICC (@ICC) August 16, 2020
— ICC (@ICC) August 16, 2020
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.