During the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, Suresh Raina played a pivotal role in India‘s journey to victory. His contributions, particularly in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches, were instrumental in securing India’s place in the final. In the quarterfinal showdown against Australia, Raina showcased his mettle by scoring an unbeaten 34 runs. It was a fixture where India faced a daunting target of 261, and Raina’s composed innings, despite the pressure, proved crucial.
Raina’s impactful partnership with Yuvraj Singh
One of the standout moments of Raina’s 2011 World Cup journey was his 74-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh during the quarterfinal game against Australia. Facing a stiff target, Raina and Yuvraj combined forces to form a formidable partnership. Their synergy in the middle was not only impressive but also critical to India’s chances of progressing in the tournament. Raina’s ability to anchor the innings while keeping the scoreboard ticking and Yuvraj’s aggressive stroke play complemented each other perfectly. Together, they took India closer to victory and played a vital role in the team’s triumph.
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Sachin Tendulkar’s inspirational words
During that crucial quarterfinal encounter, Raina revealed that he drew inspiration from none other than the cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar’s words of encouragement instilled confidence in Raina, who was still relatively inexperienced in World Cup cricket at the time. Tendulkar’s mentorship and belief in Raina’s abilities had a profound impact on his performance in that match. It was a testament to the camaraderie and mentorship within the Indian cricket team.
“We were chasing 261 and when [MS] Dhoni was out, I joined Yuvraj Singh at 187 for five. We had to dig in, we had to take responsibility and play the ball, not the occasion and that’s what me and Yuvi did. In a quarter-final against the reigning champions, you need to bring your a-game and we delivered,” Raina was quoted as saying by The Times Of India.
“I remember the stadium being full of fans shouting and screaming and before I went in to bat, I was sitting with Sachin [Tendulkar]. He told me to go out there, take the chase deep, stay calm and breathe. He told me I could do it and I had already played 100 ODIs by that time, so I knew how to play those crucial knocks. I was very calm and composed and I thought ‘Let’s do it for India’,” the 36-year-old added.
Insights into India’s chances in the World Cup 2023
Reflecting on his own experiences in the 2011 World Cup, Raina offered insights into India’s performance in the ongoing ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, hosted in India. He discussed the team’s strengths, strategies, and the importance of key players stepping up in crucial moments. Raina’s perspective as a former World Cup winner added depth to his analysis of India’s campaign in the current tournament.
“When India are playing at home, we know how much expectation there is but the team must try and play the situation. We won the World Cup here in 2011, Australia won in Australia in 2015 and England won on home soil four years ago. There is a very good opportunity here for India to win the World Cup in front of their own fans and I am confident they can do it,” the Muradnagar-born cricketer concluded.
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