On Saturday, when the entire country was busy celebrating the 73rd Independence Day, former Indian internationals, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, decided to quit from international cricket.
The recent development from the iconic figures shocked the entire cricketing community. The career graph of Dhoni and Raina overlapped each other for several years in the Indian team.
Raina made his debut during the 2005 Tri-series in Sri Lanka and became a regular in white-ball cricket.
After coming back from injury, Raina became an improved player and donned the finisher’s role in ODI cricket. The UP batter scored a majestic ton against Sri Lanka in 2010 on his Test debut, stitching a memorable partnership with Sachin Tendulkar.
Raina’s prowess with the bat in T20I cricket was first seen at the 2010 T20 World Cup in West Indies.
During India’s opening game of the tournament against South Africa at St. Lucia, Raina while coming in at number three, slammed a flamboyant 101 which came off just 60 deliveries. India scored 186 after losing the toss and being put in to bat.
In the process, Raina became the first Indian batsman to score a ton in each format of the game. He became only the third batsmen, after Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum, to achieve the feat then.
The fluent-strokemaker smashed nine boundaries and five sixes while plundering the South African bowling attack to all corners of the ground. Interestingly, Dhoni was present at the non-strikers’ end when Raina brought up his glorious milestone.
At a strike rate of 168, Raina displayed an exhibition of cricketing shots, through his slogs over mid-wicket, and sumptuous drives over covers.
In the end, South Africa crumbled under pressure and India won the game by 14 runs. Albeit, India could not finish the tournament on a high, the multilateral competition will be forever memorable for Raina’s blitzkrieg with the bat.
Here’s a snippet of Raina’s epic knock:
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