Suresh Raina has a special bond with IPL. Whatever may be the international form he posseses, when it comes to IPL he is a different man altogether. His IPL records speaks for itself. The first man to achieve 3500+ runs in IPL, most no of 50+ scores, most no of catches, most no of matches played, 400+ runs in every IPL season, second highest in six hitters list, Raina’s records in India’s showpiece T20 tournament can have no doubters.
Batting at No.3 for Chennai Super Kings from the beginning of IPL, he is one of the go-to men for Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Raina came to this years IPL after a very good World Cup. His confidence was high because he had done well on the biggest stage of cricket. But Raina has had a poor IPL till date with only two fifties (both came against RCB and in both matches he was the man of the match). He is very confident of himself even though he is short of runs
Enjoying my batting: Raina
He has said, "I have made runs in the last seven seasons and I am very proud of those performances, but I am enjoying my batting this season more than before. I may be scoring 20-30 runs but my frame of mind is very good this year".
IPL play-offs are around the corner. Can Raina turn it around in this year’s play-offs? History says he can. In the 2008 semifinal against KXIP, he scored 55 of 34 deliveries and guided Chennai to the final. In 2010 final against Mumbai, he was the star for Chennai with 57* of 35. In 2011, Raina made a belligerent 73*(50) against RCB in the play-offs. In the 2012 final, Raina played another good innings against KKR 73(38). 2013 was also no different, he scored 82*(42) against Mumbai.
Raina had an oridinary IPL last year untill the later stages of the tournament. But he came back strongly with a series of good knocks. He scored 54*(33) at the eliminator against Mumbai, not to forget the 87(25) against Punjab.
It was one of the best knocks of IPL history. Raina was unstoppable at that day, he was finding gaps with ease and hitting sixes at will. 33 runs yielded of one over from Parvinder Awana, Raina had complete authority over Punjab bowlers that day.
Great players peak at the right time. They take their game to another level when the team need them the most. All Chennai fans want their IPL hero to come good this time too.Published 19 May 2015, 00:36 IST