Monday, 21 March 2011
Vikas Madle: The Rise of Suresh Raina in International Cricket: "It was five years ago(2005) when a new teenager on the block walked up to the crease in Indian colours to face the demi God of Lankan cri..."
It was five years ago(2005) when a new teenager on the block walked up to the crease in Indian colours to face the demi God of Lankan cricket.Yes,you guessed it right-Mutthiah Muralitharan,who was at his peak and simply unstoppable was to bowl to the very talented eighteen year old Suresh Raina on the latter's ODI debut in Dambulla.
Raina,who only watched Murali bowl from outside the cricket field and heard the experts shower their praises on him realised what it was like to face the spin wizard when he was caught plumb in front of the stumps on the first ever ball in his international career.It was a delivery pitched short of length and Raina rocked onto the back foot to cut the ball and was too late to get his bat down realizing it was the wily doosra from Murali.A dejected Raina had a long walk back to the pavilion after a very inauspicious start to his career.
Five years on and Raina has transformed himself into a cautiously aggressive batsman and has cemented his place in the Indian ODI side.He lends solidarity to the middle order and has come up with a few match winning performances.His ability to adapt to any kind of situation and curb his attacking instincts has impressed many.He may not be having a great technique while defending the chin music and the greatest of footworks but surely has got a good defence and a wide range of strokes.
Raina played the most number of ODI's by any player before entering the Test cricket arena(98 ODI's,now more than 100) and his Test match career got off to a dream start with a hundred(120) against his name and shared a double hundred run partnership(256) with the batting God,Sachin Tendulkar.
Apart from all this in the shortest version of the game also Raina has made a mark for himself in the ICC World Twenty20 by scoring a ton against South Africa which made him the first Indian batsman to achieve the feat of scoring a hundred in International Twenty20 matches.His impressive talent in batting and fielding has provided a new dimension to team India and he is a real asset to any team.
Raina,who was sent packing on his first vigil at the crease by Muralitharan,has come quite a way and is now playing along with him for the franchisee Chennai Super Kings bringing about the transformation in him and a great level of maturity.