Suresh Raina is a retired Indian international cricketer born on 27th November 1986. He also served as a stand-in captain for the Indian national cricket squad now and then. Raina is an aggressive left-handed batsman and also bowls as an off-spinner occasionally. He holds a record of scoring a century in all three international cricket formats, and he's the first Indian cricketer to do so.
In addition, Raina has been one of the youngest players ever to serve as the Indian international cricket team captain. He started his cricket career by playing in the domestic cricket circuit for the Uttar Pradesh cricket team.
He's been very active in the Indian Premier League. Moreover, Suresh Raina also served as the captain for the Gujarat Lions team and vice-captain for the Chennai Super Kings before he retired from IPL. He announced his retirement from International Cricket on 15th August 2020.
Life Before Cricket
Suresh Raina was born in a Kashmiri pandit family in Muradnagar, Uttar Pradesh. His parents are from Rainawari, Srinagar district of Jammu and Kashmir. Suresh Raina lives in the neighborhood of Rajnagar in Ghaziabad city. All his schooling is done in a boarding school.
Suresh Raina's father's name is Trilokchand Raina, and his mother's name is Parvesh Raina. His father has served in the Indian Army; he was a military officer in an ordinance factory. Raina's family belongs to 'Rainawari' in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Raina's family settled in Muradnagar town, Ghaziabad district, Uttar Pradesh, in the late 1990s after the departure of Kashmiri Hindus.
Suresh Raina also has two siblings, a sister, and an elder brother. His elder brother, Dinesh Raina, serves in the Indian Army. Suresh Raina is an alumnus of the Guru Gobind Singh sports college, 1998, Lucknow.
Raina's uncle Ashok Kumar was brutally assaulted by the robbers during a robbery in their house in Punjab. Unfortunately, the assault was fatal, resulting in the death of his uncle. So immediately after the incident, he withdrew himself from playing in the Indian Premier League 2020 and decided to be with his family during this hard time.
Raina has been happily married to Priyanka since 3rd April 2015 and is also blessed with a daughter and a son.
Style of Play
Suresh Raina is a middle-order left-handed batsman with an aggressive attitude towards his batting style. Due to his aggressive batting style, he has seen success in all formats of cricket other than test cricket. Suresh Raina occasionally bowls as an off-break bowler.
Throughout his career, the teams he played against always tried to take advantage of his weakness of short balls. He faced a lot of criticism for his weakness of short-pitched balls. He also struggled greatly because of this drawback, even in the Ranji Trophy domestic cricket. He scored most of the runs in his career in the mid-wicket on-side area, and most of the time, he's seen playing inside-out off-drive shots. He is fantastic at hitting the ball offside as he creates room for himself.
Journey Till World Cup
Suresh Raina has not been an active player and has been on the bench for the first few months of 2011. Initially, Raina was not in the right form to secure a place in the team, so instead, the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni opted for Yousuf Patan in place of Suresh Raina. Later Virender Sehwag was badly injured, so he got replaced with Raina, who consistently performed against West Indies.
Seeing Raina's performance Dhoni, the team captain, devised a new strategy and opted for Suresh Raina in place of Yusuf Patan in the quarter-final against the defending champion team Australia. So, Raina played a vital role; he scored thirty-four runs off twenty-eight balls and gave Yuvraj Singh an enduring partnership. This eventually led India to win the quarter-finals of the world cup. Furthermore, his performance was phenomenal in the semi-final match against Pakistan. He coordinated with the tailenders to reach the final score of two hundred and sixty runs with a contribution of thirty-six runs.
In the semi-final match, he played a crucial role by taking Younis Khan's catch off of Yuvraj Singh's bowling. This helped the team India win the ICC World Cup 2011. 'Raina won the world cup for us with some crucial knocks' is the statement passed by the coach Gary Kirsten about Raina.
India later toured West Indies after World Cup. Captain MS Dhoni was at rest while Vice-Captain Virender Sehwag was injured, making Gautam Gambhir the captain for the ODI and T20 with Suresh Raina as his deputy captain. Then Gambhir was knocked out of the tournament because of an injury making Suresh Raina the team's captain while Harbhajan Singh was his deputy. Suresh Raina had an average of 16.4 in the ODI series and 46.4 in tests. The former cricket legends highly appraised his captaincy.
Raina started his cricket career in 2000. He wanted to play cricket, so he shifted from his hometown Ghaziabad to Lucknow. Suresh Raina successfully cleared his under-sixteen matches and became the captain of the Uttar Pradesh team. He scored two half-centuries in his under nineteen matches. He also went to Srilanka the following year with the under seventeen teams.
He made it to Ranji Trophy against Assam when he was sixteen in February 2003. However, due to some reasons, he did not play any other matches till next season. He was listed in India's List A, opposite Madhya Pradesh, in 2005. He happened to score sixteen runs in that match. He played for many domestic teams, namely India Blue, India Green, India Red, India under nineteen, and India under sixteen. In the 2006 Ranji Trophy, he scored six hundred and twenty runs in just 6 games. Later in 2018, he stepped down from Uttar Pradesh's team captaincy because of his poor performance in Ranji Trophy.
His performance was so poor, and he just scored 105 runs in 9 innings with an average of 11.66. Akshdeep Nath replaced him as a captain.
Earlier in 2003, Raina also went on a tour to Pakistan to play the Under-19 Asian ODI Championship. In 2004, he was selected for the Under-19 World Cup, showing his unmatched performance by scoring three half-centuries. He scored 90 runs just out of 38 balls, which was then noticed by the BCCI, awarding him a Border-Gavaskar scholarship for his training overseas at the Australian Cricket Academy.
He made his debut in first-class limited-overs cricket in 2005 and had a spectacular average of 53.75 runs with a total score of 645 runs in the entire season.
Indian Premier League
Suresh Raina was among the best performers in the Chennai Super Kings team in IPL 2010. He even won the 'Best Fielder' award by the BCCI before the finals of the IPL 2010 season. He played an important role in the season's final game against the Mumbai Indians.
Raina scored a game-changing half-century, eventually turning the entire game to the Chennai Super Kings side, which is one of the main reasons for their win against Mumbai Indians. Thus, making them champions in the IPL 2010. Furthermore, due to his remarkable performance in the 2010 season, he was even featured in the Cricinfo IPL XI.
He was even featured in the Cricinfo CLT20 XI for his remarkable performances in 2013.
In 2014, on 30th May, he was so close to making a mark in Cricket Sports history for the fastest 100 runs ever scored in Cricket. In the second qualifier against Kings XI Punjab, his performance was spectacular, and he scored 87 runs just out of 25 balls. However, unfortunately, he was run out in the match and missed making history just by 13 runs. He was also featured in Cricinfo IPL XI and Cricinfo CLT20 XI in 2014.
Due to the suspension of the Chennai Super Kings team in 2016, he signed a contract for the Gujarat Lions team. He was the team captain for the 2016 season and showed consistent batting performance by scoring 399 runs. Raina never missed a match in 9 seasons of IPL. However, he missed his first-ever match in IPL due to the birth of his first child. He flew to Netherlands in the middle of IPL season 9.
He was featured in the all-time Cricinfo IPL XI on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Indian Premier League. He's also been featured in the Cricbuzz IPL XI of the season for 2017.
Chennai Super Kings, his former team, was back in the tournament after the suspension. The team signed Raina for a whopping price of Eleven Crore Indian rupees ( $1.7 million) in IPL 2018. Unfortunately, Raina suffered a serious calf injury in the tournament's second game, which resulted in him missing the next two games.
He reached this milestone in the first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on 23rd March of 2019, the 12th season of the Indian Premier League. Later in 2020, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IPL was held in the United Arab Emirates for the first time. Raina went to UAE to play for the Chennai Super Kings squad but had to withdraw in the middle of the season due to the demise of a family member.
Suresh Raina made it to the list of the players who played 200 matches in the Indian Premier League in 2021. He is the fourth player to enter this list in IPL history after MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, and Rohit Sharma. He acted as the commentator for the IPL 2022 as he was left unsold in the 2022 Indian Premier League Auctions.
Suresh Raina is also commended as the best fielder in the Indian team. He is a middle-order player.
In the 2011 Cricket World Cup, he scored thirty-six runs and made India win at two hundred and sixty runs.
Suresh Raina, in the India tour of England, scored a single half-century (50 runs), and besides that, he showed a very bad performance by scoring just 27 runs from playing seven innings. As all his opponents know, his weakness for short-pitched balls, they took good advantage of it, making him struggle for the entire series. In the final test of the tournament, he managed to play 29 balls without scoring a single run leaving him to break the record of playing the longest time without scoring a single run. He was ducked out playing for about 29 balls in that final test, the longest in India's Test history.
During India's tour to Sri Lanka in 2012, in the third ODI, he scored 65 runs out of 45 balls, which helped India win with five wickets left in hand. Moreover, due to his spectacular performance, he also won the Man of the Match award. Apart from that performance in the third ODI, he showed bad consistency by scoring just one run in a match. Yuvraj Singh, who made a comeback in England's tour to India after his recovery from cancer, took Raina's spot in India's International squad.
He was named the 12th Man of the 'Team of the Tournament' in the T20 World Cup by the International Cricket Council 2012. He scored a hundred opposite England in the England tour of India in 2012-13 in Cardiff. In this match, his performance was so phenomenal that he got nominated for one of the best performances in the ODI batting of the year by ESPNCricinfo.
Suresh Raina was left unselected for the Indian squad against West Indies, where the team played two Twenty20 International matches. He returned to the ODI team for a tournament against New Zealand. He was later dismissed because of his health issues.
In October, Suresh Raina was nominated for the India C's team for the 2018 Deodhar Trophy.
In 2011, the Indian team went to West Indies after the World Cup Match. At that point, Gautham Gambhir was made captain since Dhoni was at rest and Virender Sehwag was injured. So, Gautam Gambhir became the captain and Raina as his deputy for ODI and T20s, but unfortunately, even Gambhir was ruled out due to injuries, and Raina became the captain with Harbhajan as his deputy.
Then in 2014, during the series with Bangladesh, he led the team with 2-0 wins. However, in the second match of the same series, India was all out at one hundred and five runs with batting initially. Still, Raina made the team win by forty-seven runs.
There were speculations about Raina's retirement, and he announced his retirement on 15th August 2020, just after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's retirement.
Suresh Raina has been a successful and thoughtful player in the history of cricket. He created a mark with his style of play, thus making him one of the phenomenal players in cricket history.