Suresh Raina announced his return in the Indian T20 League on Saturday, April 10, with a magnificent half-century against Team Delhi, which brought much-needed stability to the Chennai side after losing early wickets.
The southpaw had donned the iconic yellow jersey for the first time since 2019 Indian T20 League, as he had to leave the Chennai bio-bubble just before the 2020 edition began in UAE due to personal reasons.
After a lot of uncertainty persisting for months, Team Chennai had made their intentions clear by retaining Raina ahead of the mini-auction in February and the player has lived up to that trust.
Raina came to the crease after Faf du Plessis was dismissed by Avesh Khan in just the second over. To make things worse, Raina saw Ruturaj Gaikwad getting dismissed in the first ball of the third over as Chennai were reduced to 7/2.
However, the Chinna Thala forged partnerships first with Moeen Ali and then with Ambati Rayudu to steady the ship and consequently brought up his fifty in 32 balls. Mainly targeting the spinners, Raina scored 37 of his runs from 20 balls versus spinners, as compared to his remaining 13 runs against pacers.
Though Raina’s innings came to end with an unfortunate end owing to a miscommunication with Ravindra Jadeja, he had successfully turned back time for millions of cricket fans who poured their heart out into Twitter.
From not having a balcony in 2020 to sending the ball to the balconies in the stadium in 2021,WELCOME BACK CHINNA THALA RAINA! #CSKvsDC— Manya (@CSKian716) April 10, 2021
Suresh Raina right now pic.twitter.com/RAEYcXxU1u— Sagar (@sagarcasm) April 10, 2021
#WhistlePodu. @ImRaina Not Just A Cricketer, He Is GoD For Us 🥺🙇♂️— DD7 (@DHARMA96856586) April 10, 2021
LovE U Thalaivaa 💛🙏
Welcome Back After 698 Days 😍😭#ChinnaThala #SureshRaina|@ImRaina @ChennaiIPL | #WhistlePodu pic.twitter.com/feTWHWign8 pic.twitter.com/OWiuJ7qAqp
MS Dhoni must be the heart of CSK, but Suresh Raina is its identity.— Neeche Se Topper (@NeecheSeTopper) April 10, 2021
Feature Image Courtesy: Twitter / @IPL