Ton-up Suresh Raina relived to get monkey off his back

Updated: Jan 23, 2018, 20:35 IST | Santosh Suri

Once a key man in skipper MS Dhoni's scheme of things, form, fitness and luck have deserted Suresh Raina ever since he was dropped from Team India almost a year ago

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina

Once a key man in skipper MS Dhoni's scheme of things, form, fitness and luck have deserted Suresh Raina ever since he was dropped from Team India almost a year ago. His fortunes along with form took such a plunge, that his fans were left wondering if his India days are over.

Struggling for runs in domestic cricket, Raina finally heralded his return to form with a bang. Raina achieved a couple of significant landmarks during an unbeaten century in a Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Super League match for Uttar Pradesh against Bengal at Eden Gardens yesterday.

The southpaw scored 126 from a mere 59 balls with 11 boundaries and seven sixes to achieve the second highest score in T20s by an Indian batsman, falling just one short of Murali Vijay's 127 for Chennai Super Kings against Rajasthan Royals in IPL-2010. He also became the second Indian after Virat Kohli and ninth in the world to cross 7,000 runs in T20 cricket.

Raina's effort helped UP post 235 for three. Kuldeep Yadav picked up three wickets in an over as the home team went on to lose by 75 runs. "I have been working hard on my fitness and recently I had cleared the yo-yo test. That was just one aspect. But I have been working on my batting too and in domestic matches, I had been timing the ball well. It was just that I could not get a big knock in," Raina said about his battle with form.

"I was quite confident that I will finally get a big one. Now that the monkey is off my back, I will focus on consistency. This is just the break I was looking for and will strive to build on it," he added about his innings.

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