When Suresh Raina announced his retirement from international cricket in August this year, many cricket lovers were left emotional. The left-handed batsman and off-spinner was spreading out his cricketing career for 15 long years as a generation was growing up to know Raina as one of the fittest and energetic players in Team India.
Playing alongside two world cup winning teams, Raina has helped the ‘Men in Blue’ overcome many international battles, be it by taking a crucial catch, coming to bowl and proving successful, or running superfast in between the wickets to chase the target.
As Raina turns 34th today, let’s look back at his top 5 knocks for India:
1. 101 vs South Africa at Gros Islet, St Lucia (2010)
Arguably one of the best knocks in Raina’s career, the T20 international in South Africa saw the southpaw score a ton in the shortest format of the game in just 60 balls. This became the first time any Indian player had scored a century in the T20s. His nine fours and five sixes won India winning points in the group stage game of the 2010 T20 World Cup.
2. 81* vs England in Faridabad (2006)
Raina was only a teenager when he remained calm and led his side through a victory against England in the second game of the seven-match ODI series. Displaying a sturdy partnership with MS Dhoni, Raina played solid knocks and remained not out at 81 off 89 balls.
3. 34* vs Australia in Ahmedabad (2011)
We celebrate Dhoni’s winning over boundary in the finals of the 2011 World Cup but India would not be in the finals if not for Raina’s crucial knock in the quarterfinal against Australia. It was not a big run haul but he stayed till the end with Yuvraj Singh and booked a seat in the semis.
4. 120 vs Sri Lanka in Colombo (2010)
Raina has played only a dozen Test matches but his Test debut in 2010 started with a bang as he scored 120 runs against Sri Lanka. He became only the 12th Indian cricketer to score a century on debut.
5. 100 vs England at Cardiff (2014)
Raina walked out to the crease at 110/3 in the second ODI game. Soon after losing Ajinkya Rahane, Raina teamed up with Dhoni to clinch a victory by 133 runs (D/L method). Raina scored a ton in just 75 deliveries.
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