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Was elated to go to Chennai Super Kings, IPL strengthened my bond with MS Dhoni, recalls Suresh Raina

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Raina and Dhoni together for CSK during an IPL season

IPLT20

Was elated to go to Chennai Super Kings, IPL strengthened my bond with MS Dhoni, recalls Suresh Raina

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SportsCafe Desk

05/20/2021

Suresh Raina, who was picked by Chennai Super Kings ahead of 2008 IPL, has recalled that he was elated to be part of the CSK dressing room that had some legends. He added that immediately after the auction he heard from MS Dhoni, and insisted that the IPL stint strengthened their bond.

Since being picked in the 2008 IPL Auction, Suresh Raina has become one of the pillars of the Chennai Super Kings side in the past 13 years. Alongside MS Dhoni, the left-handed batsman has become synonymous with the franchise, with even some arguing that he could take over the mantle after Dhoni’s retirement. 

The franchise swooped in for the left-hander in 2008, purchasing him for nearly 5.5 times his base price. The Uttar Pradesh batsman, in his brand new memoir, ‘Believe’, revealed that he was elated to go to the franchise in the first edition of the competition, especially with his strong bond with the franchise’s skipper Dhoni. Over the last 12 years, Raina has made 190 appearances for the franchise, scoring 5492 runs in the Yellow jersey, averaging 33.7 in the tournament, striking at 139. 

“The IPL auctions happened, and like every other cricketer in the country, I was waiting eagerly to know which team I would be playing for. I was elated to go to the Chennai Super Kings. It meant Mahi Bhai and I would be playing for the same team. I heard from him almost immediately after I was bought in the auction,” Hindustan Times quoted Raina as saying in the book. 

Not just that, Raina also recalled how it was a delight to be part of the same dressing room as Matthew Hayden, Muttiah Muralitharan and Stephen Fleming. The swashbuckling southpaw also spoke about how it was the IPL that strengthened his bond with Dhoni even further after their appearances in the Indian team. 

“He said, ‘Maza aayega dekh.’ There was a lot of attention on him, of course. And looking at some of the other figures whom Chennai had bought—Matthew Hayden, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Stephen Fleming — I was just delighted to be in the same team as them. The IPL strengthened my bond with Mahi Bhai even further,” it further read.

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