For most of his international cricket career, veteran batsman Suresh Raina has played under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. Captain Cool proved to be a huge support for Raina while he was going through a rough patch and the latter made sure that he lived up to Mahi’s expectations.
A few days ago, former all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh stirred controversy when he said that Suresh Raina used to enjoy the backing he received from Dhoni and that he was MSD’s “favorite player.”
Although Raina proved that his selection was a good decision, he was inconsistent. When Virat Kohli took over the leadership of team India, Raina fell on the wrong side of the radar.
During an interview with Sports Tak, Yuvraj spoke about the ‘selection dilemma’ that MS Dhoni had to face during the 2011 World Cup. He said “Suresh Raina had a lot of support then because MS used to back him. Every captain has a favourite player and I think Mahi really backed Raina at that time.”
You can check out the whole interview here:
Now, Suresh Raina has responded to Yuvi’s claim saying that Dhoni supported him because he was aware that he is talented. Raina also said that the former Indian captain cautioned him whenever he was not in form.
While speaking to Fancode, Raina said, “I would say MS definitely supported me, he supported me because he knew I have talent, I’ve done it for him, CSK and Team India, whenever he supported me. The best part about him is that he will tell you after two games, ‘If you don’t score, I’ve to take a big step.’ I said just give me one or two games, I will make sure not to repeat mistakes.”
Raina also spoke about the hurdles that a middle-order batsman has to face. Raina, who generally batted at five or six, said that a middle-order batsman has to adjust to various situations during a match.
He said, “You know, middle-order isn’t easy, every game you play sometimes you bat for 10-15 overs and sometimes for 30 overs. Our position is different and we’ve to chip in with the ball, we’ve to get 2-3 wickets and we’ve to save 15-20 runs. Middle-order has always been challenging for me, but, I’ve always taken everything positively.”
The 33-year-old expressed his gratitude towards Mahi being there for him. He even called Dhoni the best captain after Sourav Ganguly. Raina is happy about the fact that he never disappointed his captain and is thankful that he was a part of the historic World Cup 2011 squad.
In conclusion, Raina said “I am thankful to MS because he’s always been my great admirer and he always knew what sort of talent I have. I think it’s all destiny. He’s the greatest captain we had after Dada, so I think we should really enjoy things when we play the World Cup.”
He added, “God has been kind in all difficult situations, it’s difficult to say now that I got less or more chances, I am happy that I was part of that WC, he supported me, I delivered, so I think I can’t ask for more.”