Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has praised Suresh Raina for producing impressive numbers at the international level despite his obvious shortcomings against the rising ball. Throwing his weight behind the recently retired cricketer, Chopra pointed out that there is no human without any weaknesses.
On Tuesday, September 6, Raina announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, two years after he quit the international scene. The 35-year-old took to his official Twitter handle and confirmed:
“It has been an absolute honour to represent my country & state UP. I would like to announce my retirement from all formats of Cricket. I would like to thank @BCCI, @UPCACricket, @ChennaiIPL, @ShuklaRajiv sir & all my fans for their support and unwavering faith in my abilities.”
While the left-hander scored over 5500 runs in ODIs and had an impressive T20I career as well, he did not reach great heights in Tests despite a century on debut.
Admitting that his problems against the short ball hampered Raina’s progress in the traditional format, Chopra said on his YouTube channel:
“He had a short Test career. There were so many players that it was difficult to get into the Indian team. He had issues against the bouncer, which did come to the fore. But there is no human who doesn’t have any weaknesses.
"You get found out at the international level. Despite that, Raina scored over 5,500 ODI runs, was a gun T20I player and dominated IPL for 12-13 years. It’s commendable.”
The former middle-order batter ended his T20I career with 1605 runs in 78 games at an impressive strike rate of 134.87. However, his Test career was restricted to 18 appearances in which he scored 768 runs at an average of 26.48 with one hundred and seven fifties.
“Used to run for a long distance, practice diving catches with two hands” - Aakash Chopra on Suresh Raina’s commitment
Praising Raina for his dedication and commitment, Chopra narrated an anecdote from his playing days. He revealed:
“When he used to practice in Kanpur, he used to run for a long distance and practice diving catches with two hands. The ground was not that great and players’ skin could get scraped. But his commitment was ultimate.”
Apart from international cricket, he also smashed 5528 runs in 205 IPL matches at an average of 32.52 and a strike rate of 136.76. His numbers include one hundred and 39 fifties.