New Delhi: Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh said that batsman Suresh Raina was a player that Mahendra Singh Dhoni backed a lot during his time as captain of the Indian team. Raina and Yuvraj were both part of the team that Dhoni led to the 2011 World Cup title.
Yuvraj spoke about the selection dilemma that arose before the final against Sri Lanka of choosing between Raina and Yusuf Pathan. “Suresh Raina had a larger support then, because MS used to back him. Every captain has a favourite player and I think Mahi really backed Raina at that time,” Yuvraj told a regional news channel.
“Yusuf Pathan was also performing well at that time and even I was doing well and was also picking wickets. And Raina was not in good touch then. They did not have a left-arm spinner at that time and I was picking wickets so they did not have any choice.”
Raina was one of the regulars in the Indian squad for much of Dhoni’s reign as captain of the squad but his international appearances have dried up since Virat Kohli took over after the latter decided to step down from captaincy in January 2017.
Raina’s last appearance came in an ODI against England in July 2018. It was the only ODI series he was involved in that year and one of five international series he was part of in 2018. His last Test appearance came in the 2014-15 series in Australia which was also the one in which Dhoni retired from the longest format.