From England ton to World Cup cameo: Raina’s decade in international cricket

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From England ton to World Cup cameo: Raina’s decade in international cricket

Suresh Raina completed a decade in international cricket on Thursday and said he is happy with way his career has progressed so far. He made his international debut on 30 July 2005 against Sri Lanka in Dambulla in a one-day international match.

The 28-year-old had a forgettable international debut a decade ago when he was dismissed for a duck in his maiden ODI but has since become an integral part of the limited overs sides.

Till date he has played 218 ODIs in which he has scored 5500 runs including five centuries and 35 half-centuries with a strike rate of 93.80.

Raina is the only Indian batsman to score a century in all three formats of cricket: T20, ODI and Test and was the part of 2011 World Cup-winning Indian team. He also represented the country in the next edition held in Australia earlier this year, where India exited at the semifinal stage.

As he completes a decade in international cricket, here are his top five knocks in international cricket:

75-ball 100 vs England, Cardiff, 2014

This innings will go down as one of the most crucial ones not only in Raina’s career but also for India. Going into the match India were down on confidence having lost the Test series 3-1. They were battered and bruised and needed someone to lift the spirits. The first ODI was washed out and
in the second match, it seemed as if the Test series trend would continue as India were reduced to 19/2 inside 8 overs in swinging conditions.

However, in stepped Raina and played a counter-attacking innings of 100 off 75 balls. He played some glorious shots and his innings was laced with 12 fours and three sixes. He added 144 for the 5th wicket with MS Dhoni and helped India post 304 and chipped in with a wicket as India won the match comfortably by 133 runs (D/L method). Raina was named man of the match (India went on to win the series 3-1).

It was his first ton in four years and hence an important one for him. Before flying to England, he had worked on his game with Sachin Tendulkar and Pravin Amre and termed this knock as one of his best.

“This knock is one of the most special ones for me given the circumstances and the conditions,” Raina told BCCI’s website. “We hadn’t won the game in a long time and to help the team break that jinx with a century was very satisfying.”

Sunil Gavaskar rated the left-hander’s hundred as one of the best ODI innings overseas.

101 vs South Africa, 2010 World T20, St Lucia

A century is a rare phenomenon in T20 cricket. In 2010, Raina set the Beausejour Stadium on fire as he became the first Indian to score a century in T20Is. India had got off to a jittery start having lost openers inside the Powerplay. Raina strode in in the very first over at 4/1, started off scratchily but then got into the groove and hammered a century off just 60 balls.

He scored 82 runs off the last 38 balls with his second fifty taking just 17 balls — this was an innings laced with nine fours and five sixes against the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis. India won the match comfortably by 14 runs and Raina was declared the man of the match. He is still the only Indian player to score centuries in all three formats.
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