New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina reminisced about the time when he made his international debut in 2005.
Raina has been one of the players who played a crucial role in the success the Indian team enjoyed under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
However, his career didn’t start on the note that he would have thought. In July 2005, Raina played his first international ODI match against Sri Lanka. But he got out LBW on the first ball by none other than Muthiah Muralidaran.
Raina reflected on that time in the show ‘Home of Heroes’, a JioCinema original, and said, “I made my debut against Sri Lanka in 2005 and got out LBW on the first ball facing Murali (Muralitharan). That walk to the dressing room was never ending and I kept wondering, will I get another chance? I put in the hard yards in the domestic circuit to reach where I was.”
“Mahi bhai, Irfan and Rahul bhai told me to not lose heart for getting out on a duck and told me to give my best while fielding as they all had heard a lot about it. When Sri Lanka came to bat, I ran out Atapattu and after that, I felt I deserve to be part of the Indian team with every senior looking out for me. What was reassuring is to see Sachin Paaji sitting with us in the dressing room, which inspired youngsters like me to represent the Indian flag with more pride,” Raina added.
Raina further went on to reflect on his batting style before he ended up suffering a knee injury in 2007. He revealed his favourite batting position and players as well as the management that stuck with him during that period.
“It was good, got to bat at No. 3 and No. 4. During that period, the super sub rule was introduced. The first in the world was Venugopal Rao and I was the second one. I remember we won 4-3 against Sri Lanka in that series and in one of the matches I had a good partnership with Dhoni bhai stitching together 84 odd runs and that’s when I felt selectors and coaching staff started believing in me,” Raina said.
“As a selector, Dilip Vengsarkar played a huge role in my journey and gave not just me but many youngsters like Ambati Rayudu, VRV Singh, Robin Uthappa, RP Singh, Virat Kohli, Faiz Fazal an opportunity as it was very difficult to break through in that team. But most of us had so many tournaments under our belt that we were ready from the word go,” Raina signed off.
Raina however overcame the injury and made a return back to the Indian squad. He ended up playing 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20 International for the Indian team. He ended up scoring 768 runs in the Test format, and 5,615 runs in the ODI format with an average of 35.3. While in the T20I format, he struck 1,605 runs with a strike rate of 134.9. (ANI)
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