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HomeSportsYuvraj Singh: MS Dhoni backed Suresh Raina to the hilt

Yuvraj Singh: MS Dhoni backed Suresh Raina to the hilt

Yuvraj spoke about the selection dilemma that arose before the final against Sri Lanka of choosing between Raina and Yusuf Pathan

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Former India Yuvraj Singh has said batsman Suresh Raina was a player that Mahendra Singh Dhoni supported a lot during the time of the Jharkhand cricket star as captain of the Indian team. Raina and Yuvraj were both in the team that Dhoni-led to the 2011 World Cup title.

Yuvraj spoke about the selection dilemma that arose before the final against Sri Lanka of choosing between Raina and Yusuf Pathan. “Suresh Raina had a larger support then, because MS used to back him. Every captain has a favourite player and I think Mahi really backed Raina at that time,” Yuvraj told a regional news channel.

“Yusuf Pathan was also performing well at that time and even I was doing well and was also picking wickets. And Raina was not in good touch then. They did not have a left-arm spinner at that time and I was picking wickets so they did not have any choice.”

Raina was one of the regulars in the Indian squad for much of Dhoni’s reign as captain of the squad but his international appearances have dried up since Virat Kohli took over after the latter decided to step down from captaincy in January 2017.

Raina’s last appearance came in an ODI against England in July 2018. It was the only ODI series he was involved in that year and one of five international series he was part of in 2018. His last Test appearance came in the 2014-15 series in which was also the one in which Dhoni retired from the longest format.

“The Australian coach at that came to me and had asked if there was a fibre behind my behind and asked if it was legal. Has the match referee checked it? So I told him to get it checked. Even Gilchrist asked me like who used to make our bats,” Yuvraj said.

“So match referee had also checked my bat. But honestly, that bat was very special for me. I have never played with a bat like that. That one and the 2011 World Cup bat, there were special.”

“Suresh Raina had larger support then because MS used to back him. Every captain has a favourite player and I think Mahi really backed Raina at that time. Yusuf Pathan was also performing well at that time and even I was doing well and was also picking wickets. And Raina was not in a good touch then. They did not have a left-arm spinner at that time and I was picking wickets so they did not have any choice.”

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