Suresh Raina is certainly one of the most decorated white-ball cricketers to have played for India. In 2004 U-19 World Cup in Dhaka, India were in a spot of bother against West Indies at 69 for 3. The 17-year old hailing from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh hogged the limelight with a gritty knock of 66 runs. However, few would know that Raina would go on to play close to 300 International matches for India.
He certainly delivered match-winning contributions for India in 2011 World Cup and also many showpiece events. After playing for more than 13 years, Raina decided to call it a day from international cricket. As Raina has announced his retirement with immediate effect, we take a look at the five best performances delivered by Suresh Raina.
81* vs England, Faridabad in 2006
On a sluggish pitch at Faridabad, India were chasing a modest score of 227 runs. The home side started well as openers added 70 runs for the first wicket. However, England made a comeback in the game and picked up four wickets. At that stage, Raina joined hands with MS Dhoni to stabilize the innings for India. The duo put the pressure on the opposition with quick one and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The highlight of his innings was going berserk against the likes of Liam Plunkett and Andrew Flintoff. Raina unbeaten till the end to see India register a hard-fought win over England.
100 vs England, Cardiff in 2014
In bowler friendly conditions, England managed to make early inroads to see India placed in a precarious situation at 132 for 4. Once gain Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni formed a nice partnership to lead the fightback for India. He smashed anything loose offered by the England bowlers and used his crease well to score quick runs at the back end of the innings.
Raina completed his century with a cracking drive through covers off the bowling of James Anderson. Due to his splendid performance, India went on to register a thumping win over England.
62 and 41* vs Sri Lanka, Colombo in 2010
Suresh Raina could not crack the code in the Test cricket but there was one such performance which helped India turn the tables on Sri Lanka Colombo. Left-hander was involved in a memorable partnership with VVS Laxman in his debut series in 2010. At Sara Oval in Colombo, Virender Sehwag smashed a blistering ton before India lost quick wickets. At 199 for 4, Suresh Raina showed his credentials and put on a 105-ruun partnership for the fifth wicket to help India post 436 runs in their first innings.
Chasing 257 runs for victory, India were placed in a tricky situation at 172 for 5 with Sachin Tendulkar back in the pavilion after scoring a half-century. Once again it was Raina who formed a match-winning partnership of 87 runs with VVS Laxman to help India register a comfortable five-wicket win over Sri Lanka.
34* vs Australia, Ahmedabad in 2011
In the Quarterfinal of 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, the game hung in balance when Captain MS Dhoni was dismissed by Bret Lee with India another 74 runs to qualify for the semifinals. The home needed something special from Suresh Raina. Left-hander didn’t disappoint the fans and country and put on match-winning partnership of Yuvraj Singh. He remained unbeaten till the end and smashed 34 off 28 balls.
36* vs Pakistan, Mohali in 2011
Suresh Raina once again came to India’s rescue in the semifinal clash of 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup played against arch-rivals Pakistan at Mohali. The tensions did escalate to another level as India lock horns with Pakistan in a World Cup knockout match for the first time since 1996 World Cup. India struggled their way throughout out the inning despite Tendulkar’s scratchy 85 runs. Raina came to the crease with India placed at 187 for 5. Captain MS Dhoni also dismissed for a low score. It was all down to Raina, who batted sensibly with the tail to score vital runs for the side at the back end of the innings.
Raina put on crucial partnerships with Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan to see India post 260 runs in their allotted 50 overs. He smashed unbeaten 36 runs off 39 balls to see India register a hard-fought win over Pakistan and qualify for the finals of World Cup on home soil.