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Suresh Raina announces retirement from international cricket

Suresh Raina, on Saturday (August 15), joined MS Dhoni in formally announcing his retirement from all international cricket.

The CSK allrounder, like his captain, made it official in an Instagram post.

"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! (sic)", he wrote, shortly after the former India skipper hung up his boots.

The Chennai Super Kings' duo, though, are expected to play in the upcoming IPL 2020, for which both of them arrived in Chennai for a training camp ahead of the team's departure for UAE. The CSK franchise tweeted, “Truly bolts from the blue! Nandri very much #Thala and #ChinnaThala! #WhistlePodu.”

In his 13 years at the highest level, Raina became the first Indian to score a T20I century and, with it, the first from the country to register hundreds in all three formats of international cricket.

Though his Test career was short-lived and start-stop, he retires having played 18 Tests, 226 ODIs and 78 T20Is for India, scoring 768, 5615 and 1605 runs respectively. He also has 36 ODI wickets to his name and 13 each in Tests and T20Is. A member of India's 2004 Under-19 World Cup side, Raina made his ODI debut at the age of 19, in July 2005, against Sri Lanka, though he had to wait five more years for his Test debut, that incidentally came against the same opposition, in July 2010.

Raina achieved the rare feat of a hundred on Test debut, and he was also a part of the 2011 World Cupwinning Indian side.

A southpaw and an occasional off -spinner, Raina was also regarded as one of the finest fielders in the Indian circuit. Often serving as the stand-in captain, Raina led India to a 3-2 victory in the ODI series in West Indies, soon after the 2011 World Cup, with Dhoni rested for the series and the designated captain, Gautam Gambhir, ruled out due to injury.

He also led an inexperienced Indian side to a 2-0 victory over Bangladesh in 2014, with all the seniors rested.

Dhoni's retirement and under Virat Kohli's leadership.

This was also his last appearance for India in whites.

Raina was due to make his ODI comeback in the series against New Zealand, in 2016, but was ruled out due to Chikungunya.

He last represented India in the two shorter formats on the 2018 tour of England. In 2017, Raina was dropped from the BCCI's annual contracts list.

Suresh Raina is probably one of India’s finest T20I players. He is consistent in the shorter formats of the game, which accentuate his strengths and play down his deficiencies, considering short balls are not as frequently used in ODIs and T20Is.

Nevertheless, Raina, who was as stable a Chennai Super Kings fixture as MS Dhoni was, has given us some sensational knocks over the year.

He is a big-match player too, a quality that captains value highly

After falling off the selectors' radar for Tests, mainly due to his struggles against the short ball, Raina was recalled after almost two years on the 2014-15 tour of Australia and made his comeback in India's first game post Raina scores 87 of 25 balls against Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2nd Qualifying Final, 2014. His 25-ball 85 gave him a strike-rate of 348 and included 12 fours and six sixes. Probably Raina’s best IPL knock, this one came in a losing cause as well. Batting first, the Kings posted 226 in their 20 overs, thanks to a blitzkrieg 122 off just 58 balls by Virender Sehwag. Raina was ferocious, making mince-meat of the target. He was on target to reach one of the fastest centuries ever scored in cricket. Unfortunately, Raina was run out after taking CSK to 100 for 2 in just 6 overs. Both Raina and Dhoni will be seen in action next for CSK in the IPL that kicks off September 19.

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