If ‘elegance’ has another word in cricket, then it has to be Suresh Raina without any doubt. Above all, he is a team man. He can bat, bowl and field. When he first donned the Indian jersey, people said, Suresh Raina, who? He announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday. However, he will continue to represent his IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Let’s take a look at the best knocks played by the left-handed batsman.
#9. When 'Elegance' started to grace the sport
Team India has always produced some mesmerizing talents over the years and Suresh Raina impressed everyone with his style of batting. His skill set came to the fore ever since he timed the balls quite exquisitely against England in March 2006 when he made a handsome 81 to help the side chase 227. When Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Yuvraj, Kaif floundered to make the cut in the pursuit of chasing the target, Suresh Raina showcased his class as a 19-year-old with 8 fours and a six.
#8. Suresh Raina's solo album: 106 vs. Sri Lanka
It was the Tri-nation tournament where India and Sri Lanka cruised to the finale with Bangladesh being bowed out of the race in Dhaka. India had a bad start of the day. Kulasekara and Welegedara ripped through the defense of the Indian batting line-up as the scorecard read 60/5 at one stage. With India needing some immediate impact, Suresh Raina single-handedly took the Lankan attack to cleaners as he accumulated 106 runs with the help of 10 fours and a six to his name. Though India lost the match, Suresh Raina won the hearts.
#7. Roaring Knock for the 'CSK' in IPL Finale
Suresh Raina's cameo against Mumbai Indians in the IPL final in 2010 had a lot of flesh on the channel that made the whistles blow in CSK's way. Known for the knack of crafty standards of punching and counterpunching techniques, he could counter Mumbai Indians with an emphatic man of the match 57* of 35 (3 fours, 3 sixes) to help CSK win the title for the first time.
Stitching together a 72-run liaison with MS Dhoni was the bonanza for the fourth wicket. Raina proved to be a lethal weapon who switched his intensity at a rather quick pace. This literally helped the Kings to score 168 and CSK restricted the flow of Mumbai Indians' momentum to steal the spotlight. Raina's impeccable knock will go down as the finest knock-in CSK’s history.
#6. Lit the candle on Litmus Test debut
Essaying a hundred in the Test match as a debutant is not that easy but Suresh Raina made it look so. In a match that demanded a hoard of endeavors, the classy left-hander showcased his talent on the Lankan soil in July 2010. Raina went on to make his career-best score of 120 inclusive of 12 fours and 2 sixes that helped the team switch gears to cause chaos in the Sri Lankan ranks.
Suresh Raina will forever remember this epic knock as himself and legendary Sachin Tendulkar stitched together a 256-run partnership for the fifth wicket. This partnership proved to be a vital cog for India to come from behind Sri Lanka's mammoth 642 to garner 707.
#5. Keen to flex the muscles in the truncated version of the game
There is always a special bond between Suresh Raina and T20s because he showcases his batting prowess by shooting the balls right from ball one. Raina's stellar knock of 101 off just 60 balls against South Africa in the group game of the 2010 ICC World T20 in West Indies is still the best innings in his T20 career.
Raina's knock was punctuated by 9 flashy fours and 5 cracking sixes that took the Proteas attack to cleaners. The selfless cricketer was named the man of the match for his impeccable passage of play.
#4. Sometimes small knocks make a Huge Difference
How many times have we seen Suresh Raina playing spectacular handy cameos that went on to make a healthy dosage to the team? It was a virtual quarter-final clash between India and Australia in the 2011 ODI World Cup. Suresh Raina once again upped his ante in the important episode where he scored 34* off 28 balls.
Chasing a commendable target of 261, Yuvraj Singh, the man of that tournament was picking things up well but required someone to surge the flow of runs as the scorecard was 187/5. Suresh Raina rolled his sleeves alongside Yuvraj Singh to put up a vital 74-run partnership to pull off the ropes to take India to the semi-final.
#3. Some record to boast about: 100 off 75 balls
India were battered and bruised by the English side in the Test series in 2014 where they lost by a 3-1 margin with one match being drawn. Their only win against England came at Lord's after 28 years. India wanted to give it back with grit and determination and much to their curiosity to pose a threat to England, Suresh Raina shot into prominence once again. English bowlers tried many ways to outsmart Raina but the latter had other ideas to score a quick-fire 75-ball century blitz that helped India win the game. However, India avenged the defeat to England in the ODI series.
#2. When Raina's innings blew the opposition away: 87 off 25 balls
In IPL 2014 where the rhetorical Raina played one heck of a knock against Kings XI Punjab and left the onlookers in awe with terrific counter-attacking instincts. CSK might have lost while chasing a colossal 227 but well done Suresh Raina.
Known for the knack of slicing the blade right from ball one, he caused as much carnage to the Kings XI where he composed a staggering 87 off 25 balls. His belligerent approach lit a fire in the stadium as he switched the rhythm on to help the team score 100 off just 6 overs.
#1. When Suresh Raina mastered the art of chasing: 110* in WC 2015
Fans don't remember how it started but they do remember how memorable the ending was and in this case, Suresh Raina has by far lived up to his standards. It is indeed fair to say that Raina is next to MS Dhoni in terms of finishing. He does it by absorbing the pressure as he craftily turns the 1s into 2s and plays a wide range of shots in crunch situations of the game.
Time and again, Suresh Raina has made it a habit of turning up again in the World Cup tournaments and the best knock of his ODI career in pursuit of chasing the total came in the 2015 World Cup against Zimbabwe when he joined hands with MS Dhoni to master the art of wrapping things up in a good fashion.
Having been cut down to 92/4 by the Zimbabwe bowlers, India were in the hunt to chase down 287 but with the almost first half of the lineup left the pitch, the entire nation pinned hopes on Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni as both constructed a gallant 196* run-stand that helped India in the end. Suresh Raina was named the man of the match for his mesmerizing 110*.
Arjun Tendulkar, the son of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, finally made his senior debut as he donned the Mumbai jersey during an Elite Group E fixture of the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020/21.
After missing the first two games, Arjun played his first game during Mumbai's third game of the tournament. However, the pacer didn't have the best of outings as he finished his spell at 3-0-34-1.
Arjun had conceded 15 runs in his first over before returning to take the wicket of Haryana opener, Chaitanya Bishnoi. However, Mumbai ended up losing the game by 8 wickets, and thus, crashed out of the tournament with two games still to play.
The 21-year-old is expected to be retained in the line-up for the remaining games. After the all-rounder bagged his first wicket, he became one of the top trends on social media. England women's team batter Danielle Wyatt also reacted to the southpaw's debut.
Wyatt, who is known to be a close friend of Arjun, lauded and congratulated the youngster for bagging a wicket on his debut. "Congratulations Arjun! Great start," the World Cup winner wrote on Twitter.
During an interaction with Cricket.com, Wyatt, who has after faced Arjun in the nets, said the youngster is getting quicker.
“Since then whenever I bump into Sachin or Arjun or whenever they come to Lord’s to train, I go to the nets and ask him (Arjun) to bowl with the new ball to me. But he is getting very quick now. He always says I will bounce you and knock your head off so I don’t like him bowling to me anymore. He is getting too dangerous to face,” Wyatt had said in June 2020.
Having finally made his senior debut, Arjun could be in action in IPL 2021 as he is now eligible to register for the auction. As per the norms, unless a franchise recommends someone, a player has to play at least one domestic game to enter the IPL auction.
Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne cleared up the comments he made about Marnus Labuschagne that earned him a fair bit of flak from the Australian fans. However, Warne on Saturday cleared up the comments he made about Labuschagne.
Warne was blasted by the Australian cricket fraternity after Labuschagne scored a ton on Day 1 of the fourth Test against India at Gabba. During the third Test, Warne, alongside former teammate and all-rounder Andrew Symonds, was reportedly heard using an 'expletive' while commentating on Marnus' batting.
"Jeez it's annoying. 'No!!!' Just f---ing bat properly," he had said according to World Wide of Sports.
Warne said he's a huge fan of Labuschagne's batting and added that the had already cleared the air with 26-year-old. The 51-year-old instead revealed that Marnus was 'ok' with it and the pair had a laugh regarding the same.
“I just want to clear something up,” Warne said on Fox Cricket.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Marnus. I’ve read a few reports saying ‘cop that Shane!’ about what you said about [him]. What I said about Marnus Labuschagne was ‘bat properly’. And what that means is none of that silly stuff of ‘wait on!’ and all of that carry on," he added
“Just bat, because you’re such a good player and yesterday I thought he didn’t do any of that stuff and he made a brilliant hundred.
Indian team vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been facing a lot of criticism for playing an aerial shot off the bowling of Nathan Lyon, which led to his dismissal on Day 2 of the ongoing fourth Test in Brisbane.
However, Rohit, who played a knock of 44, said he does not regret playing the aerial shot, despite gifting his wicket to Lyon, who is making his 100th Test appearance for Australia. Instead, Rohit said that he didn't connect his shot properly.
"I reached where I wanted to reach, just that I did not connect with where I wanted to hit the ball. I was trying to pierce that long-on and deep square-leg fielder, I just did not connect with the way I would have loved to," Rohit said during a virtual press conference
"I actually liked what I did today, before coming here, we knew it would be a good pitch to bat, of course, there would be bounce and carry to the keeper, but this is what I enjoy," the 33-year-old added.
"Once I was in and I had played a few overs, I realised there was not much swing so I did little adjustment there, after that, it was an unfortunate dismissal, it is something I won't regret. I like to put pressure on the bowler once I am in," he further stated.
"That is my role in this team to keep putting pressure on the bowlers. The run-scoring has been slightly difficult for both the teams so someone needs to put their hand up and think about how to put pressure on the bowlers," he concluded.
India will resume day 3 at 62/2 after rain forced early stumps on day 2 at the Gabba. The visitors are trailing the hosts by 307 runs. The series is currently tied at 1-1 after the Sydney Test ended in a stalemate.
Nathan Lyon on Friday became the 13th Australian player to play 100 Tests in the 'baggy green' as he lined-up on Day 1 of the ongoing fourth and final Test in Brisbane. He marked his debut with the wicket of Rohit Sharma.
It has been some journey for Nathan Lyon, having made his Test debut in 2011 against Sri Lanka at Galle. As called by his teammates, 'Garry' has enjoyed a decade of success and will now unarguably qualify as one of the greatest bowlers to have ever graced the game.
Lyon is already the third-highest wicket-taker for the Aussies with 397 wickets to his name. And, considering the fact that he started his journey as a pitch curator at the Adelaide Oval, Lyon's story is nothing short of a fairytale.
In the same light, Lyon has now recalled the humorous interaction that he had with his father before putting on the Australian Baggy Green Cap for the first time. Lyon revealed that his father was happy that he would at least play a single Test match for Australia.
“I called Mum and Dad, I think Dad was out the back of Temora (NSW town) somewhere working. I said, ‘Dad, you won’t believe this,’ and he said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘I’m making my debut.’ He goes, ‘That’s all right, at least you’ll play one game,’ and he hung up,” said Lyon in a chat with Mark Howard on Fox Cricket.
Lyon said that his father got too emotional and hung up early to avoid a conversation. He also recalled that both his mother as well as his grandmother were crying and also added that his brother was totally speechless.
“I’ve since found out that he was probably too emotional to talk. Then I called my brother, and he was speechless. Mum started crying… I called my grandmother and she started crying,” the off-spinner added.
Lyon would savour every moment he is spending at The Gabba as the match will determine the outcome of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is currently tied at 1-1- after India salvaged a draw in Sydney.
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