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MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina: A friendship that goes beyond the boundaries

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MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina: A friendship that goes beyond the boundaries

MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina are fondly known as Thala and Chinna Thala, respectively, by their beloved Chennai Super Kings followers. But for ardent Indian cricket followers, the two are affectionately known as ‘Jai and Veeru’ from the ‘Sholay’ fame, not simply due to their partnership on the area, but in addition for the robust friendship the two have developed off the area. 

Raina made his debut a yr after Dhoni’s maiden worldwide look, beneath the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. But Raina really emerged as a match-winning expertise beneath Dhoni’s steerage, however first in CSK colors. Both have been a part of the Chennai-based franchise since 2008, whereas sharing two seasons aside on account of the match-fixing scandal. 

In the early years of T20 cricket, the basic notion amongst most captains while fielding was to maintain extra pacers in the assault who have been deployed throughout the powerplays and demise overs leaving the center overs for the spinners. But Dhoni all the time most popular the different manner spherical. According to ESPNCricinfo, throughout the first three seasons of the IPL, CSK roughly bowled 9 balls of spin in the demise overs (17 to 20) each innings. And Raina was amongst the choices, together with R Ashwin and Muttiah Muralitharan, that Dhoni used even whereas he was only a part-time bowler. In reality, Raina picked 14 wickets in the interval at 26.57. (Also Read | MS Dhoni: A demigod who revolutionized Indian cricket for the higher)

One of the most memorable matches involving this tactic of Dhoni’s is the match towards Kings XI Punjab at Kingsmead in 2009 the place CSK spinners rallied to assist the workforce efficiently defend the lowest complete in IPL historical past. The trio lowered KXIP from 32 for one to 92 for eight as they returned with mixed figures of 12-0-38-6. Raina had completed with 2/17. 

Raina’s greatest efficiency as a death-over bowler got here in the Champions League T20 match towards Victoria in 2010 when he picked two wickets in the 18th over and two extra at the begin of the 20th earlier than combining with Dhoni to finish a last-ball run-out to implement a Super Over. CSK had finally fallen quick in the tie-breaker, nonetheless, it was a victory for CSK in its personal method. (Also Read | MS Dhoni – The Pioneer of India’s rise from the ashes of 2007 ODI World Cup debacle)

Raina slowly emerged as certainly one of Dhoni’s potent weapons in limited-overs cricket along with his all-round means making him a standout and proving as a consider his World Cup 2011 choice. However, by means of the first half of the event, Raina remained on the bench with the captain preferring Yusuf Pathan over him. But all till the group tie towards West Indies. Raina ably supported Yuvraj Singh in the profitable run chase scoring 34 off 28 and additionally performed a vital knock of 36 runs alongside the tail finish in the semifinal towards Pakistan.

It was in the similar yr that Raina earned a Test recall and whereas he didn’t dwell as much as the expectation, he was concerned in a formidable 169-run stand alongside Dhoni at Lord’s in an ODI match towards England. The partnership, en path to which he scored a cultured 84, helped India revive from 110 for 4 to 279 for 5 earlier than victory got here alongside their manner.

The partnership was one amongst the 10-century stand that the two stalwarts have shared in worldwide cricket, general managing a partnership tally of 4354 runs at 48.37. This run tally contains 3484 runs in the ODI format itself which is the most by any pair for the fourth wicket or beneath in the format. They have general batted 71 occasions in one-day matches for the fourth wicket or beneath and common 57.11 with nine-century stands. 

Raina and Dhoni have been nonetheless separated for a interval of two years owing to suspension of CSK. Raina joined Gujarat Lions and was named as the captain of the franchise, Dhoni led Rising Pune Supergiants. Even for the nationwide workforce, they batted alongside one another solely thrice in these two years.

Gujarat completed at the prime of the desk in 2016 however misplaced each the playoff ties whereas Pune completed seventh. However, in 2017, Pune completed second and then reached the last earlier than shedding to Mumbai Indians whereas Lions completed in the backside finish.

Raina and Dhoni each struggled throughout these two seasons. After ending seventh in the 2016 season, Dhoni was faraway from captaincy moreover additionally struggling to seek out kind with the bat. Raina, on the different hand, had a torrid 2016 season averaging 28.50 whereas being criticised for his captaincy in the 2017 season. Moreover, in these two seasons, Raina was ineffective as a bowler managing just one wicket at a median of 184. 

They finally reunited in the following season with CSK retaining each the gamers and lifted the IPL trophy of their comeback marketing campaign and collectively inspiring the workforce to a different title realisation in the following yr though in a defeat in the last. 

On Saturday, the two, Jai and Veeru, introduced their worldwide retirement, simply minutes to separate, by means of social media. 

Together they walked in, created a powerful pair, gained matches, created historical past and collectively bid adieu to the sport. 

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