Suresh Raina has his say on MS Dhoni’s retirement
It’s no secret that MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina are one of the closest friends both on and off the field. Therefore, it was not at all a surprise when Raina brushed aside Dhoni’s retirement talks by stating that the decision should be left to him. Dhoni’s retirement speculations have been doing the rounds ever since the former India captain made himself unavailable for selection after the 2019 ODI World Cup. But Raina stood firmly behind Dhoni.
“Only Dhoni will decide when he leaves the game,” Raina told Hindu when asked about his opinion on the matter.
Going a step ahead, Raina also went on to state that Dhoni can turn out to be an asset for Team India in the T20 World Cup next year in Australia. “He is still fit, still a terrific wicket-keeper and still the greatest finisher in the game. Dhoni will be an asset for India in the T20 World Cup,” said Raina.
Raina said Dhoni should have been sent in earlier in the order in the World Cup semifinal against New Zealand. “Had he come earlier, he could have guided Pant and then we still had Pandya and Jadeja. Even then he kept India in the fight till the very end and we would have won but for the direct hit from Guptill.”
Raina, who made his ODI debut under Radhul Dravid’s captaincy turned out to be one of India’s biggest match winner in white ball cricket under Dhoni’s leadership. The duo shared some match winning partnerships for India.
Dhoni and Raina also play IPL together for Chennai Super Kings. “We have many match-winners but we play as a cohesive unit. And we have Dhoni,” Raina said when asked about the reason behind CSK’s success in IPL.
Speaking about on his comeback, Raina said he still harbours dreams of taking the No.4 spot for India in the T20 World Cup. “I can be the No. 4 for India. I have batted in that slot before and delivered. I am looking forward to an opportunity with two T20 World Cups coming up,” Rain added.
Raina, who last played for India against England in 2018, has scored 5,615 ODI and 1,605 T20I runs for India.