Raina made his debut under the captaincy of Dravid.
Dravid reckoned that Raina would've ended up with more runs under his belt, if the latter was presented with an opportunity up the order.
Recently-retired international cricketer Suresh Raina made his debut during Rahul Dravid’s tenure as captain.
Raina was one of the most reliable trump cards for Dravid in all departments of the game. His fitness and fielding abilities stood out during his debut game against Sri Lanka.
The electric fielder affected the run-out of Marvan Atapattu off a direct hit. The then 18-year-old debutant redeemed himself after being dismissed on a golden duck by Muttiah Muralitharan.
The UP southpaw paid rich dividends for the faith entrusted on him and turned out to be cameo-king in the Indian batting lineup.
“Suresh Raina was one of those really young and exciting talents who’ve come through the Indian system. Sort of in the middle of the 2000s, 2004-05, when you’re playing Under19 cricket, doing exceptionally well and you could see even at that time that Suresh was going to be a very important player for India,” Dravid said on a video posted by the BCCI.
“That’s really how it played out in the last decade and a half. A lot of the success that India has had in white-ball cricket, lot of the great moments, great memories that India has had over the last so many years, Suresh has been a really big part of them. I think his contribution to Indian cricket, especially in the white-ball game has been fantastic.”
Raina played a crucial part in numerous memorable Indian victories such as the 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.
“He’s a World Cup winner; he’s a Champions Trophy winner and just the fact that he contributed so much on the field. I mean just his energy, the enthusiasm he brought, the way he raised the standard of fielding,” Dravid opined.
However, the NCA head reckoned that Raina would have scored more runs for India in white-ball cricket, batting up the order.
“It was one thing you felt that Suresh did all the difficult things for India – batting lower down the order when his numbers could have been a lot better if he’d batted higher up in the order. “
Raina is one of the all-time leading run-scorers in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He has held the coveted number three slot for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
“For India, for the most part of his career, he batted lower down, fielded at difficult positions, bowled some handy overs and always brought a lot to the team. Someone I will think of a terrific team-man, who always gave his best and brought some great energy to the game and was a very skilful batter,” Dravid concluded.