Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni last played for India during their tour of Bangladesh in June.
Suresh Raina suggested that Indian One-Day International (ODI) skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows the former’s game inside out and he is ready to bat at whichever position Dhoni asks him to. The bond with both the cricketers is not hidden especially since the inception of the Indian Premier League in 2008 where Dhoni and Raina have been a part of the Chennai Super Kings franchise; they have stuck to each other and no two players in the current squad understands each other’s game as well as these two. “If MS decides to bat at 4 regularly, it will only benefit the team. It will make life easier for the batsmen to follow. He can build the innings with the top-order and accelerate with the lower-middle order,” Raina said.
the all-rounder further added, “No 5 and No 6 are not easy positions to bat at. You go out there and have to score 15 runs in five balls or 50 in 20 balls. It is a position that comes with a lot of pressure. You don’t get regular chances to bat long and even then if you don’t score big in three games, there is pressure from everywhere. I know how it feels. At the beginning of my career, I did more fielding than batting.”
“You should learn how to cope with that and at the same time go and hit sixes when your chance finally comes. There is a lot of risk management involved in this role. Whoever we groom for the role from now on, I will do my best to help him cope with these aspects,” the 28-year-old said.
While, Raina could be considered to be brought at No. 3 in the Twenty20 (T20) format, he cannot be ignored for the finisher’s place in the limited overs game. Undoubtedly, he is India’s best bet for lower-middle order — where he has played 150 out of his 187 ODI innings (from No. 5 onwards). READ: MS Dhoni’s foundation collects 20,000 pounds from Cricket for Heroes T20 fundraiser
Both Raina and Dhoni last played in the blue jersey during India’s tour of Bangladesh earlier in the year. The last game where their knocks batting at No. 4 and No. 6 respectively that had won the game for India was one of the few good moments for the hosts in otherwise forgettable series for them.