Suresh Raina teases return with video of him practising batting

Former India batter Suresh Raina has teased his much-awaited return with a video of him practising batting, posted to Instagram.

In his 26-second video, uploaded yesterday, he can be seen padding up and facing Nalin Mishra and other cricketers at the Ghaziabad field.

"First Love, back on field," Raina captioned the video, which has since invited reactions from fans.

"This one gives Hope for Million #Raina Fans," a fan said. "Finally after 1 year. Please play some domestic. So that u can play IPL next year."

Raina's retirement from international cricket came just days after MS Dhoni, a close friend of his, announced his departure. After that, he continued to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Raina was signed by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ahead of the inaugural IPL season. With the team, the 35-year-old player only scored 160 runs in 12 matches at an average of 17.77. He last played for CSK in an IPL 2021 league match against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi.

The left-handed batter was released by the CSK franchise ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction and went unsold.

Raina’s record

Raina defined India from 2005 to 2018 and was a key member of the team's middle order alongside MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh.

Raina was also one of IPL's main draws for several years, earning the nickname "Mr IPL" from fans.

The southpaw played in 226 One-Day Internationals for India, scoring 5,615 runs at an average of 35.31. He led his team with five centuries and 36 half-centuries, with the highest scoring score of 116.

He appeared in 18 Test matches representing India, scoring 768 runs at an average of 26.48. He had one century and seven half-centuries in the format, with the best score of 120.

He also participated in 78 T20Is for the Men in Blue, scoring 1,605 runs at an average of 29.18. Raina has the best score of 101 and has five half-centuries and a century in the format.

Raina is currently the league's fifth-highest run-scorer, with 5528 runs from 205 games for a league average of 32.52. He has 39 fifties and one century to his credit.

Raina, MS Dhoni retirements

Dhoni and Raina retired from international cricket two years ago on August 15. After retiring, both cricketers headed to the UAE for the IPL 2020.

Dhoni competed in the tournament, but Raina was forced to withdraw due to COVID-19 cases in the CSK camp.

Raina’s decision to retire was not totally out of the blue, he told Dainik Jagran that “we had already made up our minds to retire on Saturday [August 15]".

"Dhoni’s jersey number is 7 and mine is 3 - put it together and it makes 73," he continued. “And on August 15, India completed 73 years of independence, so there couldn’t have been a better day."

Dealing with childhood coach's passing

Satpal Krishnan, Raina's childhood coach, passed away on Sunday. The coach had been fighting for his life on a ventilator in a Jalandhar hospital for several days.

“It aches my heart to hear about the passing away of my coach Krishnan Sir, the reason behind all my achievements and hard work,” he said.

“The lessons he taught me can never be forgotten, forever in my memories and prayers. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Om shanti.”

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.