Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina was an essential member of Team India’s squad, dominating India’s middle order. Raina was a dependable player to back on, be it putting runs on the board, or chasing it down. Besides, his valiant fielding efforts and striking saves made him one of the most valuable players in the Indian side.
Apart from his game, Raina is also touted as one of the gentlemen to have played the sport. And that good behaviour of his certainly played a big role for him in establishing a good relationship with former India skipper MS Dhoni. His camaraderie with the CSK skipper is known to all. However, this strong bond between the two opened up the talk that the 34-year-old was only in the team because of MSD’s backing, and wasn’t dropped from the side, despite not performing at times.
The southpaw has now opened up on his bond and the criticism he received on allegedly being in the team only because of the skipper’s backing. Raina spoke his heart out in his autobiography – Believe: What Life and Cricket Taught Me.
People forget contributions I've made for teams captained by Dhoni: Raina
The 34-year-old expressed his bond with the CSK skipper, calling MSD his "partner in crime". He further mentioned that because of their friendship he also had to go through the bias angle. “People would say, ‘Oh, Raina gets picked because he is Dhoni’s friend.’ But people forget the contributions I have made for teams captained by him— India as well as CSK,” Raina expressed highlighting that it was only through his contributions that he gained Dhoni’s trust.
“When people equate our connection with a spot for me in the Indian team, it hurts a lot,” Raina added clarifying that he has worked a lot to earn his spot in the Indian team as well as winning Dhoni’s faith and respect as a player.
Besides playing a pivotal role in the Indian team, Raina was also a crucial member of the CSK contingent ever since he made his way in the IPL franchise. The Dhoni-Raina bond has exceptionally grown over the years and their bromance is known in the cricketing world. Notably, Raina retired from international cricket minutes after MS Dhoni decided to hang up his boots at the highest level on August 15, 2020.