Suresh Raina did “all the difficult things” while playing for India, be it playing down the order or the work he put in while fielding, feels former India skipper Rahul Dravid.
Dravid was captain of the team when Raina made his international debut in an ODI against Sri Lanka in July 2005.
“Suresh Raina was one of those young exciting talents coming through the system around 2004 or 2005,” Dravid said in a video tweeted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
“(He was) playing U-19 cricket and doing exceptionally well. You could see at the time that Suresh was going to be a very very important player for India and that’s really how it has played out in the last decade-and-a-half.
“A lot of success India has had in white ball cricket, the great memories India has had, Suresh has been a big part of them. His contribution to Indian cricket has been fantastic, especially in the white ball game. He is a World Cup winner and a Champions Trophy winner,” Dravid said.
The former batting great said that Raina could have had more impressive numbers in international cricket, as he does in the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he has usually batted in the top four while playing for Chennai Super Kings and is the second highest run scorer in IPL after Virat Kohli.
“You always felt Suresh did all the difficult things for India. Batting lower down the order when honestly his numbers would have been a lot better had he batted higher up. That is seen in the success he has had playing for CSK where he bats at no.3 and he has a phenomenal record.
“For India, he mostly batted lower down the order, fielded in difficult positions, bowled some very handy overs and brought a lot to the team. Someone who I would think of as a terrific team mate,” Dravid said.
Raina also responded to Dravid’s video in an Instagram post. “Thank you so much Rahul Bhai for such encouraging words. You have been my source of inspiration since I was a kid & eventually commencing my cricketing journey under your guidance was a dream come true. Getting my first one day & test cap from you was one of the most thrilling moment of my life. You always took care of me as one of your own. You made my day with this message (sic.),” he said in the caption to the post which included the video.
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