MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina were the two middle-order captains of India in long-term ODIs.However, the duration of Raina’s captaincy was very short. The iconic duo put together match-winning partnerships, often came to India’s rescue when the top order failed to fire. A day after India’s World Cup-winning captain and iconic left-handed batsman announced their retirement from international cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) posted a tweet, paying tribute to the pair, who both share a close bond.
Considering their list of combined achievements in the 50-over format, the ICC tweeted “What a Duo!” Together they have played 73 innings, in which they have scored 3585 runs at an average of 56.90.
Dhoni and Raina had also picked up the 2011 World Cup together when India defeated Sri Lanka in a tense final. Raina was also part of the team when MS Dhoni was captaining India for the Champions Trophy in England after two years.
Dhoni, on Saturday, shared an Instagram post making a big announcement. Suresh Raina, who is also Dhoni’s partner and deputy in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), joined him soon in retirement. The left-handed batsman shared a picture on Instagram, writing, “It was nothing but playing with you. @ mahi7781. With pride in my heart, I want to join this journey. Thanks, India Jai Hind.” Both Dhoni and Raina have since been paid tribute and receiving thanks messages on social media.
Dhoni and Raina played important innings on the cricket ground and saved the Indian team from trouble many times. One such match was in the 2015 World Cup in which Dhoni and Raina handled India’s sinking boat and won the team with an unbroken 196-run partnership. The match was the 39th match of the 2015 Cricket World Cup between India and Zimbabwe. Batting first after losing the toss, Zimbabwe’s entire team was dismissed for 287 in 48.5 overs. The Indian team started off slow to chase the target and the Zimbabwean bowlers destroyed the top order of the team. The Indian team lost Rohit Sharma (16), Shikhar Dhawan (4), Virat Kohli (38) and Ajinkya Rahane (19) to a score of 92.
After this, the Indian team came to the back foot and from here the target of 288 became more difficult. After losing four wickets at the score of 92, it was the responsibility of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina to save the team from an embarrassing defeat. Both batsmen handled the Indian innings and then demolished Zimbabwe’s aggressive bowling by playing their big shots in the final overs. In the end, with 8 balls remaining, Raina-Dhoni made winning possible for the Indian team by 6 wickets.
During this time, both batsmen shared an unbroken 196-run stand in 156 balls. Suresh Raina scored an unbeaten 110 off 104 balls while Dhoni scored an unbeaten 85 off 76 balls. This was Suresh Raina’s first century in the World Cup tournament and he was given the Man of the Match for his brilliant inning.