Suresh Raina opened up an interesting decision of MS Dhoni during the World Cup that changed the entire course of the match.
India has maintained an unbeaten streak over Pakistan in the ICC Cricket 50 Overs World Cup. They have faced each other 7 times in this mega event and India have dominated the contest right from the word go. India faced Pakistan in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup in Adelaide. Virat Kohli’s 107 powered India to a memorable win. But we tend to forget Suresh Raina ‘s quickfire inning of 76. Virat Kohli hogged the limelight with his match-winning hundred. There was no contest in the match, as India registered a thumping win over their arch-rivals.
After 5 years, Suresh Raina has revealed a small incident from his innings during that match. He gave the credit of his innings and India’s win to the then captain MS Dhoni. Ajinkya Rahane was India’s preferred batsman to bat at No 4 in the World Cup, with Raina batting at No 5. However, only in that match, MS Dhoni promoted Suresh Raina to bat at No 4.
In a recent interview, Suresh Raina revealed that MS Dhoni walked up to him and asked him to bat at No 4 in that match. Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan were batting comfortably, and it was then MS Dhoni approached him to go and bat when the next wicket falls.
Raina gave the credit of his inning to MS Dhoni.
Raina said that he never questions MS Dhoni’s decisions. He recalled that he was having a sandwich when Dhoni walked up to him at the mark of 20 overs and asked him to Pad Up. “I never questioned his decisions. I remember I was having a sandwich or something during our match against Pakistan in World Cup 2015. Suddenly after 20 overs, he said ‘pad-up’. I padded up. Virat was batting really well and this happened just a few overs before Shikhar (Dhawan) got run out. So I got out in the middle, played a few shots and scored 70-80 runs,” Raina said during a recent interview.
When the wicket of Shikhar Shwan fell, India was 162 for 2 in 29.5 overs. Then, Suresh Raina walked into bat at No 4. Raina played a quickfire inning of 74 off 56 balls. He hit three sixes and five fours during his innings. He compiled a 110 run partnership with Virat Kohli.
Why did MS Dhoni send Raina at No 4?
Raina also revealed that he asked Dhoni about his reason behind this sudden change of decision, at the end of the match. Dhoni replied to him and told that he promoted him so that he could score runs off the leg spinner.
“After the match, I asked him why did you send me up the order? He said, ‘I thought you will play better against the leg-spinner who was bowling at that time’. He also praised me for my batting. So I also want to know what goes on in his mind,” Raina told.
MS Dhoni was successful in his strategy as Yasir Shah did not pick up a single wicket in that match. He gave away 60 runs in his 8 overs and returned wicketless. The other spinner who partnered him was the part-time bowler Haris Sohail. He ended up with figures of none for 26 in his 4 overs.
However, India could not sustain the momentum provided by the top order. The middle-order failed to support them and India could manage to set a target of 300 runs only. However, this turned out to be a huge target for the Men In Green, as they were bundled out for 227 in 47 overs.