Calcutta: Suresh Raina’s century on Wednesday won him the Man of Match award. On Thursday, it earned him praise from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.
“It’s got to be one of the best innings overseas... You can’t call it the top innings overseas… It’s got to be Kapil Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe in the Prudential Cup in 1983, when India were five down for 17 on a pitch that was a lot more greener than any of the present pitches. So Raina’s will be one of the top innings that was played by an Indian in overseas conditions,” Gavaskar told during a programme on a television channel.
Raina’s hundred, his fourth in ODIs, helped India cross the 300-run mark. Gavaskar lauded his maturity and the way he adjusted to the conditions.
“The way he adjusted his batting, the way he adjusted his bat speed, showed his maturity and it’s very refreshing to see that in a batsman,” said the former India captain.
“Raina has always played cricket with an energy which is so rare in Indian cricket… Whether it is batting, bowling or fielding, he’s there… He is one of those guys who give everything,” Gavaskar added.
Deconstructing Raina’s innings, Gavaskar said: “He has developed a sense of assessing the situation, adjusting his batting accordingly… That is what he exactly did. He played himself in at the start and when it was required, he opened his shoulders… Struck some powerful shots to get to his hundred. Fantastic batting,” he said.
Gavaskar felt that since Raina was not a part of the Test squad which lost the series against England, it helped. “I have always believed that when a team has lost very badly, you need some players who haven’t had that trauma of those losses. The trauma of sitting in a dejected and desolate dressing room,” he said.
Gavaskar also praised the Indian spinners. “I think there was a little bit of turn which certainly helped the spinners… Jadeja in particular was getting the ball to turn a bit. Ashwin too bowled quite well,” Gavaskar said.