Suresh Raina reveals toughest bowler he has faced in India nets
Suresh Raina may have retired from Indian cricket a while back, be it internationally or in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), but one of the country's finest-ever middle-order batters has fond memories of his times in the middle and some amusing tales to tell.
One of the stories Raina recalls with a grin is facing a hard time in the nets from an unlikely force coming his way. The elegant left-hander said even when he faced up to the specialist bowlers of the side in practice sessions, he didn't receive as hard a time as he was subjected to when he got out to his legendary friend MS Dhoni.
With his military medium fast-bowling, Dhoni on odd occasions would get Raina out and continue to annoy him about it for the coming days, making him, according to the batter, the "toughest" bowler to encounter in the nets since he would pull his leg for long after dismissing him in the nets.
Raina's amusing 'toughest in the nets' tale on Dhoni
Speaking on 'JioCinema', Suresh Raina said he found it less troublesome in his career to get out to the greats Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga than he did when faltered to the gentle but passionate bowling of MS Dhoni in the nets.
"I think Muralitharan and Malinga, but in the nets, it was MS Dhoni. If he got you out in the nets, then you’d not be able to sit with him for one and a half months because he’d keep gesturing and remind how he got you out," Raina said.
A bonafide legend as a wicketkeeper-batter, Dhoni did take one international wicket when he dismissed West Indies' Travis Dowlin in the group stage encounter of the 2009 Champions Trophy. The great man nearly had another scalp to his name when he initially got Kevin Pietersen out caught during the Lord's 2011 Test, but a review saved the England middle-order batter.
While Dhoni mainly operated with medium pace at the top level whenever he bowled, Raina revealed, the former India skipper would bring all kinds of tricks to the fore when he rolled his arms over in the nets.
"He’d bowl off-spin, medium pace, leg spin, everything. In the nets, he would even justify his front foot no-balls (laughs). Wherever he’d get a red cherry in a Test match, he’d go for it. In England, he’d swing it full throttle," he added.