In 2017, nothing was going in favor of the discarded Indian all-rounder Suresh Raina, even some of the cricketing pundits predicted that his comeback to the national team was almost impossible. In the Ranji Trophy last year, the veteran Uttar Pradesh batsman could not manage to score more than 105 runs in five matches – at an alarming average of 11.66.
Besides, Raina last played for India in February 2017, after which reports suggested that his failure to pass the yo-yo test which kept him out of the team. However, he started to make an announcement of his comeback in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy knockout matches in Kolkata, in which we performed extremely well. What followed consequently was his India recall – for the series against South Africa – in which he scored 145 runs in three T20Is.
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On the basis of these performances, he was retained for the ongoing Nidahas Trophy 2018, in which he is trying to make the most of the absence of senior players like skipper Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
In the on-going T20I tri-series, Raina has scored 56 runs in three matches, and an interesting stat has emerged from him the tournament. The UP batsman has gone past his CSK teammate and former Indian skipper MS Dhoni in terms of the runs scored for India in T20Is. While Raina has 1452 runs in T20Is, Dhoni has 1444 runs to his name.
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On Monday, in his knock of 27 runs, Raina smashed two fours and as many sixes before losing his wicket to Nuwan Pradeep. In his overall T20I career of 71 matches, Suresh has scored one hundred and four fifties at a strike rate of 133.70.
The CSK batsman also became the third Indian player to hit 50 sixes in T20Is, a landmark that he reached during the second T20I against Bangladesh. Yuvraj Singh is on top of the Indian list with 74 sixes while Rohit Sharma is at the second place with 69 sixes.