“I Played For MS Dhoni, Then I Played For The Country”

Former India batsman Suresh Raina has opened up about his friendship with MS Dhoni and explained why he decided to retire soon after the legendary Indian captain announced his retirement on August 15, 2020. Raina was MS Dhoni’s deputy for the Indian cricket team along with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni shocked fans with an unexpected Instagram post on August 15, 2020, in which he announced his retirement from international cricket. About 30 minutes later, Suresh Raina also announced his retirement from international cricket, leaving fans in disbelief over his early retirement.

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During an interview with Sports Talk, Suresh Raina opened up about his decision to retire from his international career and said that he was playing for Dhoni first and then for the Indian team.

“We played so many matches together. I was fortunate to play with him for India, and with CSK. We got a lot of love. I’ve come from Ghaziabad, Dhoni from Ranchi. I played for MS Dhoni, then I played for the country. That’s the connection. We’ve played so many finals, we won the World Cup. He’s a great leader and a great human being,” Suresh Raina said.

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The 33-year-old, popularly known as Chinna, last played in the IPL in the 2021 season, where he managed to score only 160 runs in 12 matches. Raina was not in the scheme of things with the Indian team selection at the time, with his last appearance for the team coming during an ODI against England in 2018.

Raina made significant contributions in the lower-middle order to India’s winning squad in the 2011 World Cup. The left-handed batter represented India in 18 Tests, 226 ODIs, and 78 T20Is in his 13-year career. He has scored 768 runs in Tests, 5,615 runs in the 50-over format, and 1,605 runs in T20Is.

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