Days after the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chennai Super Kings divulged why the team didn't buy Suresh Raina for the upcoming IPL season, a former cricketer has claimed drift in the camaraderie between Suresh Raina and the team's skipper MS Dhoni. His remark has been going rampant across and beyond the borders as it has come when the two stars were known for their bonding.
Former New Zealand cricketer and commentator Simon Doull has opened up about why the CSK didn't bid for Suresh Raina this time and said that the veteran batsman has lost the loyalty of MS Dhoni. Speaking to Cricbuzz, Doull said, "There are two to three parts to it. He lost his loyalty in the UAE. We don't need to go into why that was but you know there's enough speculation about that, so he lost the loyalty."
"Of all the team, he (Raina) lost the loyalty of MS Dhoni. So once you do that, you are very very unlikely to be welcomed back. He is not fit and he is scared of the short ball", Doull added. Suresh Raina was released by CSK ahead of the mega auction while the franchise had picked Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali, and Ruturaj Gaikwad as their four retained players.
As Raina was left out from the team, he had kept himself under a base price of Rs 2 crore. However, in the mega auction that was held for two days - February 12 and 13 in Bengaluru, his name came up only one day and none of the ten teams had bid for him due to which, he had eventually placed under the unsold category. It is the first time that Raina would miss the entire season on the grounds of getting unsold. Earlier, he had missed the IPL season in 2020 due to personal reasons.
Doull had hinted that Raina has lost the loyalty of MS Dhoni after a poor performance in the IPL 2021. Throughout the season, he had scored only 160 runs from 12 innings at an all-time low average of 17.77. The cricket world knows the rapport shared by MS Dhoni and Raina. The latter had played under the former's captaincy in Team India as well as in the CSK and seeing the duo on the crease would always be a treat for the fans.
Overall, Suresh Raina has been one of the top scorers in the IPL with 4687 runs from 171 innings. By playing 200 matches for CSK, Raina is the only player to appear for more matches after MS Dhoni, who had appeared in 214 matches. Raina also has 39 fifties and one hundred in his IPL career and he has been regarded as one of the finest batsmen in the IPL history.
35-year-old Suresh Raina shares a special bonding with MS Dhoni and it was in a fashion where Raina had announced his retirement from the International Cricket soon after Dhoni made his announcement about retirement on August 15, 2020. Following the retirement, Raina entered the field as a CSK player in the last season of IPL only to record his lowest average as a batsman. While there were reports that Raina is yet to get fit to play, the veteran batsman has found no place in any of the team to nurture his IPL career.
It must be noted that Raina was part of CSK's title-winning campaigns in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021. He also had led the team in six matches in the absence of MS Dhoni. Earlier this week, Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanath has said that CSK did not acquire Suresh Raina as he may not fit in the current team's composition. By admitting that Raina has been consistently performing for the team, the Chief said that not having Raina in the team was very difficult.
In a video shared by CSK on their YouTube channel, Kasi Viswanath said, "Raina has been one of the most consistent performers for CSK for the last 12 years. Of course, it was very difficult for us, not to have Raina but at the same time, you should also understand that the team composition depends on the form and kind of team which any team would like to have so that's one of the reasons why we thought he may not fit into this stream."