The veteran Indian all-rounder, Suresh Raina has credited MS Dhoni for allowing him to bat freely and for helping him arrive at a ‘compact decision’ whenever he wanted to tweak his batting. Raina has played the majority of his international and IPL careers under the captaincy of Dhoni.
During a chat on Star Sports, Raina said, “For whatever time we have played, my USP has been that MS Dhoni has given me the license to bat freely and he always knew my capability. Whatever strengths I have in my game and whenever things were going great for me, if I needed to tweak something, he would also slowly give me a warning and tell me what the results could be if there is a change in the strategy and then he would leave the final call to me.”
Raina said MS would simply let him know how changing certain things will impact the outcome. The southpaw has played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs, and 78 T20Is, no longer features in India plans. However, he is an IPL regular where barring two seasons, he has played for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a franchise Dhoni has led from the inception of the cash-rich league.
Dhoni hasn’t played any competitive cricket for almost a year now and IPL, which has been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, was to be the stage from where he would launch his India comeback.
Raina said Dhoni’s preparation for IPL during CSK nets was different this time around and he hopes the league gets underway soon enough so that everyone can see how it fits and motivated he has been this time around.
The south paw explained, “The first few days he took it lightly and just focused on going to the gym but he was playing the shots beautifully and his fitness level was great and he was not getting tired. His preparations were different this time, I have played with him over the years with the national side, so I just hope the matches can start quickly then everyone can see how well prepared he is and see what I saw myself live in the two months of camp that we had.”