If MS Dhoni retiring was not news enough, his India and Chennai Super teammate Suresh Raina also called time on his international career via social media on Saturday (August 15). Taking to Instagram, Raina posted, "It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781. With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India. Jai Hind!"
The duo will play for Chennai Super Kings though having arrived in Chennai for a six-day training camp ahead of the side's departure for UAE. The IPL is scheduled to be held from September 19 to November 10.
The first Indian cricketer to get the treble of a Test, ODI and T20I century, Raina turned out for India in 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20Is. He was an integral part of the Indian team that won the ODI World Cup in 2011 for the first time in 28 years.
In an international career that spanned close to 13 years, Raina scored 768 runs in Tests averaging 26.48, 5615 runs in ODIs at 35.31 and 1605 runs at 29.18 in T20Is. A handy part-time spinner, he also picked up 36 ODI wickets and 13 each in Tests and T20Is. Raina last turned out for India ODI against England in July 2018.
While he had an indifferent Test career, Raina was a stalwart for India in the white-ball format often giving his all with the bat, ball and in the field. He made his India debut as a 19-year-old in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Dambulla. A year later a T20I call came beckoning but he made his Test debut only in 2010 against Sri Lanka. It was worth the wait though as Raina became only the 12th Indian to score a century on debut.
Raina also served as a stand-in captain in 12 ODIs, which included a 3-2 series win over West Indies and a 2-0 win over Bangladesh.
While his struggles against the short ball meant Raina soon dropped off the radar as far as the Test format is considered, he was a mainstay of the ODI and T20I team. 2008 to 2012 were probably his best years in international cricket where he served as an excellent finisher. Raina will always be fondly remembered for the two knocks that he played in the quarter-final versus Australia and semifinal against Pakistan of the 2011 World Cup.
What also helped was his immaculate form in IPL. One of the backbones for Chennai Super Kings, Raina has been a rock for the Yellow Brigade at No.3. His consistency can be seen from the fact that he has scored 350+ runs in every IPL season to date. He has scored 5368 runs in 193 matches at the IPL which includes 38 half-centuries and a ton. He was the highest run-getter at the IPL for a while before Virat Kohli overtook him.
Raina will next be seen at the IPL 2020 which gets underway on September 19.