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Former India international Suresh Raina turns 35 today. Raina won the 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy during his international career that spanned over a decade.

 

The left hander's energetic batting performance was an essential cog in India's middle order for a long time and he proved his worth by changing the course of the match in India's favour. 

 

On 15 August 2020, Raina announced his retirement from all formats of international cricket. He pulled from 2020 Indian Premier League due to personal reasons.

 

The left-handed batsman and part-time off-spinner was part of several memorable victories with the Indian team, including the 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.

 

Let’s recall his top 5 memorable innings for Team India:

 

101* vs South Africa at Gros Islet, 2010

 

Raina braved the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Kallis to hit a century off just 60 balls in the ICC World T20 in 2010. Before this innings, Raina had failed to perform up to his reputation. However, this innings changed everything for Raina and he became the first Indian to score a hundred in all the three formats of the game.

 

81* vs England at Faridabad, 2006

 

This match was one of the first times Raina and Dhoni got together to take India to victory. Playing England in a seven-match ODI series, India won the first game comfortably. The action then shifted to Faridabad where the visitors won the toss and elected to bat first. But they couldn’t build on Kevin Pietersen’s 71 and were bowled out for just 226. India, however, found themselves in deep trouble when they were reduced to 92/5. But that’s when two young guns got together to take the hosts to victory. Dhoni got out for 38 for 55, with Raina remaining unbeaten on 81 off 89. It was a remarkably mature innings by the 18-year-old

 

34* vs Australia at Ahmedabad, 2011

 

This again will raise several eyebrows but 34 not out against Australia in the quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup was one of the finest innings of Suresh Raina. It was a pressure match and with 74 needed off 12 overs, could have gone either side. However, Raina stitched a crucial partnership with Yuvraj Singh and India won the match.

 

Also read: Watch: Shreyas Iyer celebrates debut century, grooves with Rohit Sharma & Shardul Thakur


36* vs Pakistan at Mohali, 2011

 

In the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup as well, Raina played a crucial hand for the Indian team. The hosts were in a tricky position batting first when Tendulkar got out for 85 with the score being 187/5 in 37 overs. Raina came out to the crease then and India needed him to stay till the end and provide a flourish in order to finish with a fighting total. And that’s exactly what he did. He batted with the tail and remained not-out on 36 off 39 to help India get to 260/9. Pakistan eventually got bowled-out for 231 and the difference between the two teams was 29 runs. Had it not been for Raina’s innings, the outcome of the match could have been very different.

 

49* vs Australia at Sydney, 2016

 

Chasing 197 in T20s that too against a team like Australia in Australia is not an easy task. However, Suresh Raina made sure it is done with his top innings of unbeaten 49. While Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli laid the foundation with their respective fifties, it was Raina who kept India alive in the game and ensured victory.

 

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