Suresh Raina is one of the legends of IPL. Both in the fielding and the batting departments, Raina is the leader of multiple records. Yet, apart from his stint at Gujarat Lions, the southpaw has been a captain on very few occasions in IPL. This is because he has been representing CSK, the franchise which cannot look past MS Dhoni as its skipper. Nevertheless, there were a few matches when Suresh Raina captained CSK. MSD had to miss a few games due to an elbow issue in 2010, and Raina led the side in his absence.
It has been a long time since that happened. Since that season, CSK has undergone many changes. Here is a look at the playing XI when Suresh Raina captained CSK.
Openers: Parthiv Patel (WK) and Matthew Hayden
Parthiv Patel was MS Dhoni’s backup for the first three seasons of IPL. He did get a few games despite MSD being in the squad, but when ‘Captain Cool’ was unavailable, Parthiv was a sure shot selection. Along with him at the top of the order was the Aussie legend, Matthew Hayden. The left-handed opener was in top form, and in that particular game, when Suresh Raina captained CSK for the first time, Hayden scored a brilliant 93 of just 43 balls.
Middle-Order: Suresh Raina (C), S Badrinath and M Vijay
The middle-order of this XI had an Indian flavour. Suresh Raina came in at his usual No.3 slot, the position where he has been the most successful in the competition. S Badrinath was used as a floater, but in this XI, in the absence of MSD, he was very important. For M Vijay, though, a place in the middle-order was a different experience. With Parthiv in the squad, Vijay had to bat lower down the order.
All-Rounders: Justin Kemp, Joginder Sharma and Albie Morkel
The composition of the playing XI was no different when Suresh Raina captained CSK. The franchise is known to fill all-rounders in the squad, and this was not a different occasion. Albie Morkel was a permanent feature in the CSK unit for the first few seasons. He was someone who contributed well in both departments of the game. Justin Kemp played a few games for CSK and this was one of the matches. He was a big-hitting player from South Africa who came with a lot of reputation. Joginder Sharma was a useful cricketer who could do a bit of both batting and bowling.
Bowlers: R Ashwin, L Balaji and M Muralitharan
R Ashwin, L Balaji and Muralitharan were at the heart of this bowling line-up. All Tamil speakers, this bowling unit was the favourite for the home fans. They were also quite effective on the field. While Balaji was a top bowler during the middle-overs, the Ash-Murali duo managed to strangle the opposition with their wily spin-bowling in almost every encounter. It is of no surprise that they won the competition with this unit.