Rahul Dravid: ‘Suresh Raina’s numbers could have been a lot better if…’
Bengaluru: Former India captain Rahul Dravid has praised Suresh Raina as a “terrific team man” who raised the standard of Indian fielding. Raina retired from international cricket on Saturday (August 15) and today (August 17) the official Twitter handle of the BCCI posted a video where Dravid is speaking about Raina’s international journey.
Raina made his ODI debut in 2005 under Dravid’s captaincy. It was a forgettable first match as he was out for a golden duck, LBW to Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka. However, he went to recover from this setback to be one of the best for India in the limited-overs formats.
The left-hander was part of India’s 2011 World Cup winning team and also feature in the Champions Trophy 2013 victorious squad. Raina followed MS Dhoni into international retirement.
In the video, Dravid said, “Suresh Raina was one of those really young exciting talents who is coming through the Indian system, in the middle of 2000s, 2004-2005, playing Under-19 cricket and doing exceptionally well. You could see even at that time, Suresh was going to be a very, very important player for India. And, that is really how it has played out in the last decade and a half. The lot of success that India has had in white-ball cricket, lot of the great moments, the great memories that India has had over the last decade and a half, Suresh has been a really big part of them.”
“I think his contribution to Indian cricket, especially in the white-ball game, is fantastic. He is a World Cup (2011) winner, Champions Trophy (2013) winner, and just the fact that he contributed so much on the field. His energy, enthusiasm he brought, the way he raised the standard of fielding, there was one thing that you always felt, Suresh did all the difficult things, for India, you know, batting lower done the order,” Dravid added.
The batting legend felt Raina could have scored more runs in his ODI career if he had batted up the order. “Honestly, his numbers could have been a lot better if he had batted higher up in the order, that has been shown out in the success that he has had for CSK in the IPL when he bats at No. 3. He has absolutely phenomenal record and he is one of the phenomenal players of the IPL over the last decade or so.”
Dravid added, “But for India, for most part of his career, he batted lower down in the order, fielded at a difficult position, he bowled some very handy overs, and always brought a lot to the team. Someone who I would think of as a terrific team man who always gave his best, brought some great energy to the game and was a very, very skillful batter.”
“I guess he couldn’t replicate the success of a debut hundred and couldn’t build on that in his Test career. But be that as it may, his contribution in one-day cricket to India was fantastic. He was part of a very, very successful Indian one-day team over the last decade and a half.”
Raina played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20Is.
Now, Raina will play IPL 2020 in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.