Guwahati: Former India international batter Suresh Raina turns 35 today. He played 322 international matches for India, having made his debut in an ODI in 2005. He called it quits from the international stage in August 2020.
In 205 matches in the IPL, he scored 5528 runs and sits fourth in the list of all-time scorers in the competition.
As he celebrates his 35th birthday today (November 27), we take a look at some of the most important innings of his career.
89 VS ENGLAND, 2006
The first of many incredible partnerships between Dhoni and Raina came in the third ODI of England’s tour of India in 2006. Despite restricting England to a total of 226, India was struggling. Half of the team was back in the pavilion with just 92 runs on board and the young duo of Raina and Dhoni had the responsibility to build the match for India and they did not disappoint.
Though Dhoni got out after playing an important 38 runs, 18-year-old Raina stood his ground till the very end. Taking on the England bowling lineup, Raina guided India to victory with a brilliant 81 off just 89 balls.
101 VS SOUTH AFRICA, 2010
A fierce South African bowling lineup that had the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis was waiting to take on the Indian team after putting them to bat first. The Proteas initially got the start they wanted and sent Murali Vijay back to the pavilion on the second ball of the innings. But what followed next was a Raina show.
The southpaw struck shots all around the ground and went on to create history. Raina became the first batter to score a hundred in T20 internationals as he finished at 101.
100 VS ENGLAND, 2014
India was coming from a disappointing 3-1 loss in the test series, the ODI were now their chance of redemption. After the first match got abandoned due to rain, all eyes were now on Cardiff. Batting first, India was at 110 for 3 when Raina walked in with responsibility to take the innings forward.
Soon, Ajinkya Rahane who was batting at the other end was also sent back to the pavilion and captain Dhoni walked to the crease. Raina and Dhoni stitched a brilliant partnership helping India reach a total of 304 runs. The men in blue went on to register to win the match and later the series. Raina played a brilliant knock of 100 runs off just 75 balls.
87 vs KXIP, 2014:
This is one of the cult innings, not just in Raina’s career, but also in the IPL. In the Qualifier 2 of IPL 2014, Chennai Super Kings were chasing 227 against Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), thanks to Virender Sehwag’s 122. On the very second ball, CSK lost Faf du Plessis for a duck. Raina walked in next and brought along his own surface. Or so it seemed. Raina smashed Sandeep Sharma for three fours and a six in the second over before tearing into Mitchell Johnson an over later to bring up his fifty off just 16 balls. The last over of the Powerplay was taken for 33 with Parvinder Awana being the unfortunate bowler. However, an urge for a quick single to get on strike saw Raina being run out for 87 off just 25 balls.
98 vs RR, 2009:
In the second edition of the IPL in South Africa, it was a rematch of the final of 2008. Shane Warne’s early introduction of spin meant CSK lost their openers pretty early in the game. Raina began by hitting Dimitri Mascarenhas for a four and a six before hitting Yusuf Pathan for a maximum. In company of Subramanian Badrinath, Raina brough CSK back on track and took Kamran Khan apart towards the end of the innings. When on 98, the scorecard wrongly showed that he had reached triple digits and Raina raised his bat. On the next ball, a wild heave resulted in his wicket.
100 vs KXIP, 2013:
What Raina missed in 2009 took long time coming and finally it did in 2013 – an IPL ton. Against Punjab, Raina was in early due to Wriddhiman Saha’s fall. He began cautiously and targeted his bowlers. He first hit David Hussey for a four and a six in the tenth over and then took on Manpreet Gony. He then hit a six off his Uttar Pradesh team-mate Praveen Kumar to reach 97 before running a couple and a single to reach the coveted mark.
73* vs RCB, 2011:
Another one of Raina’s crucial IPL knocks came in the Qualifier 1 game in 2011. Royal Challengers Bangalore had set CSK a tall 176 to win. They then rocked the men in yellow back with a couple of quick strikes to reduce them to two for seven. Raina and Badrinath then added 67 for the third wicket. Despite a Virat Kohli over for 16 and an Abhimanyu Mithun over for 23, CSK needed 82 in the last seven overs. Raina took on Zaheer Khan, who gave away just 11 in his first three overs, for 20 in the 17th over, with help from MS Dhoni. Another costly penultimate over meant CSK’s passage to the final became easier as Raina finished unbeaten on 73 off just 50 balls.