“I suggested Dhoni to try him…” Suresh Raina Selflessly Recommended This Star Player In His Place To MS Dhoni

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a battleground for intense cricketing action and a platform where teams make critical decisions to maximize their chances of success. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK), under the leadership of MS Dhoni, made a bold move during IPL 2021 by dropping their star player, Suresh Raina, to accommodate Robin Uthappa in the playing XI. This tactical decision, driven by consultation between Dhoni and Raina, proved to be a game-changer for CSK on their path to clinching the IPL title.

In a direct interaction between Suresh Raina and Robin Uthappa, Raina suggested to Dhoni that Uthappa should be given an opportunity in the team. Despite being sidelined due to an injury, Raina selflessly recommended Uthappa as the right candidate to fill his place. This decision showcases the camaraderie and selflessness within the CSK camp, with Raina putting the team’s success above his aspirations.

“When MS Dhoni and I talked, I suggested that ‘you should try Robin Uthappa’. He (Dhoni) took permission from me to play you, and I told him that ‘he is the guy to give you the final, trust me’,” Raina told Uthappa on JioCinema.

Raina emphasized that omitting him from the playing XI was not a decision Dhoni took lightly. As one of CSK’s stalwarts since the inception of the IPL in 2008, Raina held immense value to the team. However, Raina believed that Uthappa’s inclusion would strengthen CSK’s chances of winning the tournament. In discussions with Dhoni, Raina expressed his conviction that Uthappa deserved a place in the team and could contribute significantly to their campaign.

“MS Dhoni said, ‘ See, we have played since 2008, but I want to win this season. Now, you tell me what to do. I said, ‘Play Robin at number 3 and ensure he is in the playing XI until the final. If you win, CSK will win. Whether I play or him, Robin and Raina are the same,” the CSK great added.

Dhoni, known for his astute decision-making, sought Raina’s guidance despite a crucial choice. Dhoni’s desire to secure the IPL trophy again led him to engage in a meaningful conversation with Raina. The CSK skipper recognized the significance of Raina’s insights, considering their longstanding partnership on the field. Raina proposed that Uthappa be slotted in at number 3, ensuring his place in the playing XI until the final, regardless of Raina’s inclusion. This decision highlighted the mutual trust and respect shared between Raina and Dhoni.

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Robin Uthappa, having joined CSK from the Rajasthan Royals before IPL 2021, made the most of the opportunity provided to him. Across four matches, Uthappa accumulated 115 runs with a commendable strike rate of 136.90. His contributions proved vital in CSK’s victorious campaign, culminating in a 27-run triumph over the Kolkata Knight Riders in the final. Uthappa’s performances justified the faith placed in him by both Dhoni and Raina, further validating the wisdom behind the tactical move.

The Chennai Super Kings went on to clinch their fourth IPL title, adding another glorious chapter to their illustrious history. This victory underlined the importance of strategic decision-making, teamwork, and selfless sacrifices within a cricket team. Raina’s willingness to step aside for the team’s greater good showcased his commitment to CSK’s success and his trust in Uthappa’s abilities.

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