IPL 2021: With 6 days left, Can Suresh Raina retain his ‘Mr. IPL’ form for CSK even with just a week’s training?

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IPL 2021- CSK’s Suresh Raina’s IPL stats: Although Suresh Raina played for India before playing in the Indian Premier League, it is the T20 league that helped him reach new heights. HiSureshs exploits in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings helped him earn the title of “Mr IPL”. But the ageing warhorse has not played high-level cricket in over a year. Now with six days left for CSK vs DC opening match, he has a race against time to find his way back in Mumbai.

IPL 2021: Suresh Raina has total training of just 4 hrs for IPL so far

Raina missed IPL 2020 after he returned to India from UAE citing ‘personal reasons’. Furthermore, he did not join MS Dhoni & Co when they were training in Chennai which started on March 9.

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‘Chinna Thala’ as he is fondly called by CSK fans, joined CSK directly in Mumbai on March 26 and had to undergo a week-long quarantine. He began training from April 2 and unlike the likes of Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu, he has had merely 2 two-hour batting sessions. In comparison, CSK skipper has had 24.

With so little training to get back into the groove, can he prove his worth in IPL 2021 and justify his ‘Mr IPL’ tag?

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IPL 2021: How will Raina’s return benefit CSK?

Batting at No 4, the Uttar Pradesh batsman will act as the backbone to CSK’s batting line-up. His versatility will be key for MS Dhoni as Raina’s role be that of a floater. What adds to it is Raina’s style of play.

  • His dashing left-hand style of play at No. 4 gives CSK the luxury to attack at will with a lot of firepower left down the order.
  • The lofted straight drive (or hitting in the V) is a shot fans savour to watch as he audaciously plays without fear in a tournament like IPL.
  • Raina also bowls very useful right-arm off-spin and was often used by Dhoni when he had to look for breakthroughs or try something different.

IPL 2021: Suresh Raina – Is he still ‘Mr IPL’?

Raina is synonymous with the Indian Premier League. Barring 2015-17, the 34-year-old has been part of CSK and has been a vital cog in the franchise’s three title triumphs.

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He is the second-highest run-getter in IPL history behind Royal Challenger Bangalore’s captain Virat Kohli. In 193 games, the left-handed batsman has scored 5368 with a strike rate and an average of 137.14 and 33.34 respectively.

IPL 2021: Raina’s IPL stats since 2017

Batting and Fielding

Mat

Runs

HS

Ave

SR

100

50

Career

193

5368

100*

33.34

137.14

1

38

2019

17

383

59

23.93

121.97

0

3

2018

15

445

75*

37.08

132.44

0

4

2017

14

442

84

40.18

143.97

0

3

However, Raina has not been at his best. The only cricket he has played since IPL 2019 was in January this year. He was part of the Uttar Pradesh squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy but could not perform to his optimum. In five games his total score was 102.  Although on paper it might not be Raina-espque total, it is worth noting that his average was nearly 34.

CSK would want to use his experience and that is why he was retained for IPL 2021 despite last year’s fiasco.

IPL 2021 CSK squad

MS Dhoni (C and WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, N Jagadeesan, Faf Du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sam Curran, Ravi Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma, KM Asif, Imran Tahir, R. Sai Kishore, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Harisankar Reddy, Bhagvath Varma and Cheteshwar Pujara.

IPL 2021: When is CSK’s first match of IPL 2021?

CSK vs Delhi Capitals (DC) will be played on April 10 at 7:30 pm in Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai behind closed doors.

 

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