IPL 2021: Suresh Raina set to play his 200th match
Defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings at the Arun Jaitley Stadium tonight. In what is expected to be a riveting encounter, CSK star Suresh Raina will accomplish a historic milestone. Raina, who holds several records in the cash-rich league, is set to play his 200th IPL match. Here is more on the same.
Raina will become only the fourth player in the history of IPL to play 200 matches. At the moment, he is only behind MS Dhoni (210), Rohit Sharma (206), and Dinesh Karthik (203) in terms of appearances. Raina, who has represented the CSK and Gujarat Lions, will be a part of the elite club as he takes the field tonight.
Over the years, Raina has emerged as one of the most versatile batsmen in the IPL. He has won plenty of matches single-handedly, even in tricky conditions, thereby earning the "Mr. IPL" tag. Raina is currently the third-highest run-scorer of the tournament, having scored 5,489 runs at an impressive average of 33.26. The left-handed batsman also owns one hundred and 39 fifties.
In 2019, Raina became the first batsman in the IPL history to cross the 5,000-run mark. He got to the landmark in that season's opening game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Raina is one of the four players to have slammed over 500 fours (502). Moreover, he has taken the most number of catches (104) in the tournament.
Although Raina has also represented GL for a brief period, he remains the nucleus of CSK. He is their leading run-scorer (4,648) at present. His best season came in 2013, when he helped CSK reach the final with his exploits (548 runs at 42.15).
The CSK camp looks up to Raina when facing Mumbai Indians. Notably, he is the highest run-scorer against them in the IPL. Raina has smashed 818 runs from 32 games at an average of 31.46 against MI. He played a match-winning knock (57*) in the 2010 final as CSK defeated MI to become champions. The Rohit Sharma-led MI would be wary of Raina tonight.