Cricket is a game of partnerships and camaraderie. Quite often the team that gels well together, ends up winning the crucial tournaments. And if one were to look at Indian cricket in recent years, one pair that stands out because of its friendship is MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. The two of them played a central role in stitching memorable wins for the national team in many matches. Moreover, while Dhoni became the Thala or the leader of the Chennai Super Kings, leading them to three Indian Premier League titles, Raina became his deputy or the Chinna Thala.
Raina also stunned the world when he decided to announce his retirement from international cricket along with MS Dhoni on August 15, 2020. While it almost felt that MSD had reached the twilight of his international career, Raina still had plenty of cricket left in him when he took the big call, months prior to his 34th birthday.
The southpaw has now opened up on their relationship, saying that the former India World Cup winning captain is like an elder brother to him.
"MS Dhoni is like a big brother for me, we have played lots of matches together in CSK and India - won lots of tournaments but the respect, believe what we have for each other is something everyone loves about it," he told Star Sports.
Raina could bat at number 3 in second leg of IPL 2021
While Raina had opted to pull out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons and Chennai struggled in his absence, he was back with the Men in Yellow this year and looked in good nick. However, the 14th edition of the blockbuster T20 tournament had to be suspended midway owing to the Coronavirus crisis and now the tournament has been moved out of the country. The second leg of the competition is set to happen in September-October.
With England players Moeen Ali and Sam Curran, the two stars who provided solidity to the Super Kings, likely to be unavailable for the second half of IPL 2021, Raina could be seen back at his preferred number 3 position.