Suresh Raina has returned to the Indian team with a lot of positive intent. He timed the ball really well in the first match at Johannesburg. At Centurion, he played a lovely little cameo after Rohit Sharma‘s early dismissal. In the final T20I against South Africa, Rohit got out cheaply – yet again leg before off Junior Dala – and Raina chipped in with a 43 off 27 balls.
Being a limited-overs cricket veteran, Raina had added responsibility for this game. A stiff back ruled out Virat Kohli and given the India captain’s recent form, it was a serious blow. Kohli’s stand-in, Rohit, finished a pretty ordinary series with the bat, scoring just 11 runs in the final T20I. Shikhar Dhawan struggled with his timing upfront. And the onus fell upon Raina to make the most of the first six overs.
As JP Duminy won the toss and put India to bat first, a good powerplay was needed to cancel the advantage for the home side. India scored 57 runs in powerplay overs for the loss of Rohit’s wicket. On a pitch that offered bounce and also a little bit of early movement, Raina’s footwork was excellent.
His batting during that phase felt like a throwback to the past, when Raina used to be on a par with Kohli in the shorter formats.
During South Africa’s innings, Raina also dismissed the power-hitter David Miller on his off-spin. The southpaw was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his all-round performance.
Suresh Raina’s wife, Priyanka Chaudhary Raina was all over the moon after her husband’s terrific show in Capetown. She took to Twitter to post a heart-winning message for the love of her life.
Here’s what Priyanka Raina tweeted:
“That moment when your heart is filled with immense happiness and your eyes with tears!
So proud of you my liefie ❤️ @ImRaina”
— Priyanka Chaudhary Raina (@_PriyankaCRaina) February 24, 2018