Full Name: Suresh Kumar Raina
Nick Name: Sanu
Date of Birth (Birthday): 27 November 1986
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
Birth Place: Rainawari, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Marital Status: Single
Playing Style: Left hand Batsman
Height: 5 ft 8 inches
National Team : India
Sports Played : Cricket
The youngest in a family of five children, Raina decided to take up cricket seriously in 1999, and moved from his home town of Ghaziabad, near New Delhi to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, to attend the specialist government Sports College. He rose to become the captain of the Uttar Pradesh U-16s came to prominence amongst Indian selectors in 2002, when he was selected at the age of 15 and a half years for the U-19 tour to England, where he made a pair of half-centuries in the U-19 Test matches.
Raina had a difficult start to his international career, being dismissed for a golden duck by a doosra from spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. After scoring 37 runs in the tournament at an average of 12.33, and with the return of Ganguly from suspension, Raina was omitted from the starting XI for the tour of Zimbabwe. With Ganguly being sacked after a row with Indian coach Greg Chappell and Mohammed Kaif injured, Raina played in five of the matches against Sri Lanka in India, mostly as a supersub, and made a cameo 39 not out to guide the team to victory in the fourth ODI.
An aggressive young batsman who has dismantled bowling attacks across the country, the prodigious Raina puts people in mind of Yuvraj Singh. A string of fine performances at the junior levels - where he frequently bullied his way to double-hundreds - landed him a spot in the India Under-19 squad. His 620 runs in six games, in the 2005-06 season, propelled Uttar Pradesh to Ranji Trophy glory and a couple of composed knocks, when given the opportunity in one-dayers, got Rahul Dravid to gush: "Raina has shown what a phenomenal player he can turn into." His electric fielding added zing to the one-day side and it came as no surprise when, even before getting an ODI fifty, he was fast-tracked into the Test side against England in March 2006, and on the subsequent tour to the West Indies. However, his early promise turned into a false dawn - he couldn't manage a half-century in 15 innings - and lost his place in the one-day side on the South African tour.
Raina is the youngest in his family with five kids but was lucky to be born and brought up in Gaziabad in Uttar Pradesh as the goverment there encourages the young boys to take sports seriously by giving the admissions and scholarships in goverment colleges. Although Rania was homesick kid in his early days, he managed to controll his emotions when he joined the Lucknow sports college in 1999.
Raina had a difficult start to his international career, being dismissed first ball by Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. After scoring 37 runs in the tournament at an average of 12.33, and with the return of Ganguly from suspension, Raina was omitted from the starting XI for the tour of Zimbabwe. With Ganguly being sacked after a row with Indian coach Greg Chappell and Mohammed Kaif injured, Raina played in five of the matches against Sri Lankain India, mostly as a supersub, and made a cameo 39 not out to guide the team to victory in the fourth ODI. He was again watching from the sidelines in the series against South Africa after Kaif's return and Gautam Gambhir forced his entry into the team with a century, but got another chance to become a regular member of the Indian middle order during the 2010 tour of Pakistan, after vice-captain Virender Sehwag returned home injured. He was only required to bat in one match, in which he helped guide the latter part of the successful run chase in the fourth ODI.
Upon his return to India, he was called up to the Test squad, at the expense of former captain Ganguly, although he did not play in the Test series against England. He earned his first man of the match award in the subsequent ODI series after scoring an unbeaten 81* in a successful run-chase at Faridabad. After scoring two more half-centuries in the series at an average of 48, Raina was awarded a BCCI C-grade contract. He was selected for both squads for the tour to the West Indies, but did not make his Test debut.
After a poor run in the Malaysia Tri-Series in September and in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, Raina was relegated to the bench midway through the ODI tour of South Africa. This spread to the Test team, where he was dropped from the squad altogether despite the injury to Yuvraj Singh, with Ganguly and Dinesh Karthik being recalled to the team. In January 2008, Raina was recalled to the team and toured Australia for a limited overs campaign, but did not play in any of India's 10 ODIs or the one-off T20 international.
After a strong IPL season in 2008, Raina broke back into the XI for a triangular ODI tournament in Bangladesh when senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar was rested from the competition.
On 25 June 2008, he scored his maiden hundred against Hong Kong during the 2008 Asia Cup. His 66 balls hundred was at the time, the second fastest century in Indian ODI history. He scored 84 of 69 against Pakistan and 116 of 107 against Bangladesh, in next two matches. Hence, he won man of the match award successively three times. Since then, Raina has been a member of India's full-strength ODI and T20 team.
During the 2010 World Twenty20 in the West Indies, Raina was criticised for a perceived weakness against the short ball. With his 101 from 60 balls with five sixes and nine fours in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 against South Africa on 2 May 2010, he became the third player to score a Twenty20 international century after the West Indies' Chris Gayle and New Zealand's Brendon McCullum. He then missed the ODI series in the West Indies because of injury. In January 2010, Raina scored 106 from 115 balls in the final of the triangular ODI tournament against Sri Lanka in Bangladesh. His innings took India to 245 after they collapsed to 5/60, but it was not enough to save the match.
In South Africa's tour of India in 2010, Raina was called in the squad for the second test, but was not selected in the playing XI. He captained the Indian team for the Tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe as all the other first-choice players were rested from the tournament. India lost the first match under his captaincy against Zimbabwe by six wickets, but won the next match against Sri Lanka. The Indians then lost their remaining two matches and did not make the final.
Raina was then brought into the Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in July and August 2010. He made his debut in the Second Test after Yuvraj Singh was ill. Sri Lanka made 4/700 declared and India were in trouble at 4/241 when Raina came in to join Sachin Tendulkar. Raina went on to reach a century on debut as the pair put on a double century partnership. Yuvraj recovered in time for the Third Test but the selectors opted to retain Raina. However, poor form throughout 2010-2011, including a failure to make any impact on the Centurion Test which South Africa won by an innings, he was dropped in favour of rookie Cheteshwar Pujara for the remainder of the series, in which India battled back to draw 1-1.
He was on the bench through the first half of the 2011 Cricket World Cup as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni went with the in-form Yusuf Pathan. This remained so until the group game against West Indies, which he started due to an injury to Virender Sehwag. He started against defending champions Australia in the quarter-finals as Dhoni made a strategic change, omitting Yusuf Pathan in favour of Raina. Raina responded by assisting Yuvraj Singh in a successful run chase through high pressure, making 34 from 28 balls to carry India to victory. In the semi-final against Pakistan, he batted with tailenders and scored 36 runs without which India would have been hard pressed to bowl Pakistan out, as they ultimately did. He also fielded well in this game, taking the catch which completed Yuvraj's dismissal of Younis Khan. He took another catch in the final against Sri Lanka, and did not have to bat.
After the World Cup Raina took over as captain of the ODI side for the tour of the West Indies after Dhoni opted to rest and Gambhir was injured. India won the series, but Raina averaged just 16.4. In the Test matches he scored 232 runs at the average of 46.4 making crucial fifties in each test. He was selected for the England tour in July. There was a lot of debate whether who should play in first test at Lord's, Yuvraj or Raina. But a century in a practice match against Somerset sealed a place for him in the playing eleven.