Ranked! Top knocks of Suresh Raina

CT Contributor Updated: 16 August, 2020, 2:14 PM IST

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*.

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AUS v IND: India's Predicted Playing XI for ODIs

Vedant Yadav Updated: 29 October, 2020, 11:22 AM IST

India will tour Australia to play three ODIs, as many T20Is, followed by a four-match Test series after the conclusion of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season in UAE.

Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday announced the full schedule after getting clearances from the respective state governments amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The tour will kick-off with a three-match ODI series starting from November 27.

The first two ODIs will be played at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on November 27 and 29, respectively. The series will conclude with a trip to the capital, Canberra, as the Manuka Oval will host the final One Day International on December 2.

Here's how Virat Kohli and his men are expected to line-up for the ODI series.

Openers: Shikhar Dhawan & Mayank Agarwal

Veteran batsman Shikhar Dhawan is expected to return to the playing XI after missing out during the New Zealand tour earlier this year. Mayank Agarwal, owing to his brilliant form in the ongoing IPL 2020, is expected to partner Shikhar in the absence of veteran stalwart, Rohit Sharma, who is out injured.

Middle-Order: KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, & Shreyas Iyer

After being named vice-captain, following Rohit Sharma's surprise exclusion from the team, KL Rahul will lead the middle-order along with his master and skipper, Virat Kohli, who once again will be the topic of discussion throughout the two-month-long tour. Shreyas Iyer, who is currently marshaling his troops at the helm of the Delhi Capitals, will provide much-needed depth to the middle-order.

All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja

Hardik Pandya, back after a 6-month sabbatical amidst a back injury, has been firing on all cylinders in the ongoing edition of the IPL in UAE. Though he is still not cleared to bowl, Pandya, who is plying his trade for Mumbai Indians, continues to impress with the bat.

Meanwhile, Jadeja is known as more of a bowling all-rounder, has time in time showcased that he can bat like any other batting all-rounder, including Hardik. Jadeja will also aim to contribute with the ball, especially when it comes to bagging those crucial wickets in the middle.

Bowlers: Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, & Jasprit Bumrah

Though still quite young, Jasprit Bumrah will be eager to lead the pace department along with the experience and exuberance of Mohammad Shami and Navdeep Saini, respectively. The spinners department, on the other hand, will be led by Yuzvendra Chahal.

India's ODI squad for Australia Tour: Virat Kohli (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vc & wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur

IPL 2020 Game 48 Review: 3 mistakes that cost RCB the match against MI

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 29 October, 2020, 12:55 AM IST

Defending champions Mumbai Indians all but secured their play-offs berth with a professional five-wicket triumph over Royal Challengers Bangalore in match number 48 of IPL 2020 at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Batting first after losing the toss, RCB only managed 164 for 6 on the board despite a good start from their openers. It proved to be far from enough as Mumbai chased down the target with five balls to spare. With RCB’s inconsistency coming to the fore again, we take a look at three mistakes that cost them the match against Mumbai.

1. Kohli, de Villiers’ twin failures

Despite losing the toss, RCB would have been pleased with their progress with the bat for most of the first part. The new opening pair of Devdutt Padikkal and Josh Philippe stood up to the renowned Mumbai pace attack and actually put them to the sword. The pair had added 71 in 7.5 overs when the partnership was broken courtesy Rahul Chahar, who had Philippe stumped for 33 from 24. The youngster was looking good for a lot more when his promising innings was cut short. He had done a fine job on his comeback to the team though as RCB had been struggling with their opening partnership.

The platform was set for Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to take over. However, the RCB skipper once again fell to the short ball, trying to take on Jasprit Bumrah, but only managing to top edge one straight up in the air to present a simple catch. With Kohli back in the pavilion for 9 from 14, RCB’s hopes rested on de Villiers. But, the prolific South African batsman also perished, hitting an awkward full toss from Kieron Pollard straight to deep square leg, having scored 15 from 12. Star players like Kohli and de Villiers are bound to have their off-days. However, both of them failing simultaneously was too big a setback for RCB, and that too in the high-stakes match.

2. Lower-order meltdown for RCB

With Kohli and de Villiers perishing cheaply, it was a good opportunity for some of the other names in the batting department to come good. However, they failed to grab their chances. Shivam Dube struggled to make just 2 from six balls at a time when boundaries were the order of the day. He tried to go after a quick bouncer from Bumrah but was only successful in handing a sitter to deep midwicket. Coming into bat with three overs to go, the big-hitting Chris Morris had enough time to make a significant impression. But, he lasted just two balls, hitting a boundary off the first, and presenting a catch to a third man very next ball. Morris’ wicket was a massive one, as it cost RCB a good 10-15 runs. The constant departure of wickets saw Bangalore stumble from 95 for 1 to 164 for 6, opener Padikkal playing a lone hand with 74 from 45.

3. Pacers putting no pressure on Mumbai batsmen

To be in with a chance, RCB bowlers needed to strike quickly. The pace bowling duo of Morris and Dale Steyn though just could not build any sort of pressure on the Mumbai batsmen. Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal did combine to pick a few crucial scalps, but the pressure was released every time Morris and Steyn came on to bowl, as they just couldn’t get their line and length right. Steyn, in particular, was disappointing with figures of 0 for 43 in his four overs. Defending a target of 165 needed RCB to produce a complete bowling effort. They failed to do so and had to pay the price.

IPL 2020: 10 Hilarious memes from MI v RCB game

Vedant Yadav Updated: 29 October, 2020, 12:02 AM IST

Mumbai Indians locked horns against the ravishing Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 48th match of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Ahead of the game, RCB made three alterations from the team which lost out to CSK on Sunday. Josh Phillippe, Dale Steyn, and Shivam Dube came in at the expense of Aaron Finch, injured Navdeep Saini, and Moeen Ali while MI remained unchanged from their defeat to Rajasthan Royals.

RCB were asked to bat first by stand-in MI skipper Kieron Pollard, as Rohit Sharma continues to recover from his injury. Josh Philippe (33 from 24) and Devdutt Padikkal (74 from 45) gave a brilliant start to RCB.

The pair added 71 runs for the first wicket before Rahul Chahal dismissed the Australian youngster. Philippe's dismissal triggered a MI comeback, which was led by Jasprit Bumrah. RCB, at one point of their innings, lost four wickets in the space of seven runs before MI eventually restricted them to 164/6.

Chasing a target of 165, Suryakumar Yadav (79 from 43) stood his ground to take the defending champions, MI, one step closer to the IPL 2020 playoffs. With this 5-wicket success over RCB, MI currently occupies the top spot with 16 points.

Here are 10 hilarious memes from the MI vs RCB game:

IPL 2020: Gautam Gambhir lauds CSK's equation with MS Dhoni

Vedant Yadav Updated: 28 October, 2020, 11:19 PM IST

Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir lavished praise on the equation between Chennai Super Kings owners and MS Dhoni, calling it a 'fabulous relationship'.

Gambhir said Dhoni's relationship with CSK should be a blueprint for other teams to treat their successful captains. He further stated that he won't be surprised if Dhoni remains at the helm with a relatively new squad next season.

CSK have struggled this season as they failed to reach the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time in its history. Their problem has been the absence of key players -- Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh -- coupled with their relatively aging squad.

"I keep saying that why CSK is CSK is because of the relationship between the owners and the Dhoni. They have given all the freedom to MS, and he has received all the mutual respect from the owners as well," Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.

"What he has done for the franchise and how the franchise actually deals with MS and treats him is a fabulous relationship. So I'd not be surprised if they continue with MS and he plays till the time he wants to play. And then next season he still continues to be the captain and have a much different squad than what he has this time around."

Recently, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan said MS Dhoni might be with CSK till IPL 2022, despite their torrid outing in the ongoing season. Gambhir added that their relationship is adamant from the fact that they're continuing to back Dhoni, who has been under a lot of pressure this season

"MS has won them three trophies, couple of Champions Leagues, so he has made them one of the top successful sides in the IPL after Mumbai Indians," Gambhir said.

"So CSK saying they are going to continue with MS - it's just the relationship, it's just the mutual respect. That's why MS has been so loyal to CSK. That's why MS has given everything: heart and soul, his sweat, sleepless nights - I'm sure he must have had sleepless nights while he has continued to lead CSK."

IPL 2020: Trevor Bayliss reveals the reason behind Jonny Bairstow's omission from playing XI

Vedant Yadav Updated: 28 October, 2020, 10:27 PM IST

England batsman Jonny Bairstow has been plying his trade for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in UAE. Bairstow, so far, has looked good with the bat, scoring 345 runs in 11 outings.

However, in SRH's last game against the Delhi Capitals, Bairstow didn't feature in the playing XI, but SRH won the game by 88 runs. It was their must-win outing to keep their playoffs hope alive.

SRH’s head coach Trevor Bayliss and captain David Warner have cleared that Bairstow was a part of their tactics. Wriddhiman Saha, who replaced Bairstow at the top of the order, played a match-winning knock of 87 off 45 and shared a 107-run partnership with Warner to help the team post a massive 219 on the board.

After the match, Bayliss cleared his stand by saying that they wanted to play an all-rounder in Jason Holder in the middle and Kane Williamson has also been batting well. That's why they had to drop Bairstow.

“Look, we wanted to play the all-rounder in the middle just to give us some more bowling. It gives it another option with five bowlers plus Vijay Shankar. From Jonny’s point of view, that meant one of the top-three batters had to miss out.

“Kane [Williamson] has been batting very well for us when available, and obviously the other overseas is the captain [David Warner] so, Jonny was the odd one out on this occasion. But look, with the way Jonny plays, I’m sure he will play a lot more,” Bayliss told Metro News.

SRH skipper David Warner highlighted that it was a tough decision to leave out Bairstow, but they needed to make the alteration, as they've to win all of their games to qualify for the playoffs.

“It was a very tough call, especially with Jonny playing as well as he has. We felt picking Kane would work out,” Warner signed off.