New Delhi, July 20: Former Team India batsman Suresh Raina will be seen in action in the upcoming second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, scheduled to begin on September 19 in the UAE, for his franchise Chennai Super Kings.
After a disappointing show in the domestic T20 league in the previous edition, CSK - under the leadership of their inspirational captain MS Dhoni - roared back in form and played like champions and look certain to make it to the playoffs. The 34-year-old left-handed batsman who is the vice-captain of the CSK side wants to win this year's title for his captain and friend, Dhoni.
While speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Rain said the team will look to win IPL 2021 title for Dhoni, "We've played a lot of matches for India as well as CSK. He has played almost 200 matches for India and for CSK. I think it's just the emotion and on top of that, we have that respect for each other. I have learned a lot from him, and he is like a big brother to me. We have won a lot of trophies together and have lost a lot of finals as well, but I think the belief, the respect we have for each other is immense. And that's what everyone loves about it (our bond)."
"I've learned a lot from @msdhoni. He's like a big brother to me." - @ImRaina— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) July 19, 2021
Hear more about their unique bond, #INDvPAK match-ups & much more on #CricketConnected:
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Raina - who retired from the international format last year on the same day Dhoni bid adieu to the limited-overs format - added further that when the team unites at the camp in Dubai, they'll look to get into the grooves and win the title for the fourth time. Raina also lauded Dhoni for giving freedom to the teammates which helped them give their best in the season before it was suspended due to the COVID-19 breach.
"Hopefully, when we go to Dubai, we will have a camp and we can again win it for him. I think the way we were playing this year; we were having some extra confidence from his captaincy and he was enjoying each other's success. He was giving freedom to all the players and having Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis in the side, we had the momentum. Hopefully, when we go to Dubai, we can do it again for MS," added Raina.
Raina also spoke about his most memorable game against Pakistan during the 2011 Cricket World Cup semi-final, "I think the match against Pakistan in 2011 World Cup is the most memorable one. India had to win the semi-final as the game was crucial for both teams. Pakistan was on top of the pool, as they played a lot of matches in Sri Lanka. Definitely, I would say 2011 (was most memorable). After that, our team got stronger and we never lost against them in the World Cup.
"2011 World Cup was critical because we were playing the tournament on our home soil and we had pressure to play one more game in the final. The emotions were different but, we all managed to stay calm. When you're playing against Pakistan, you make sure you give your best. You need to give it back to your team; you need to work hard on your intention, planning, and every other thing. We worked hard, and the whole team did well," the southpaw added further.