Indian Premier League’s top run scorer, Suresh Raina , on Monday was named as the captain of new Rajkot team, Gujarat Lions. Raina, who landed here from Australia on Monday morning, said it would be great challenge to play against his former Chennai Super kings (CSK) captain, MS Dhoni.
“I and Dhoni talked in Australia how we will be in different teams, but it will be fun. Imagine, Jadeja celebrating Dhoni’s dismissal (laughs) and I am batting and Dhoni keeping behind. I played for CSK for last eight years and I become a better and mature person. I played with the greatest captain of CSK and coaches; I never missed an IPL game for CSK. But you have to be very professional and I am very excited to be part of the Gujarat Team,” visibly tired Raina told the media.
Raina was a regular member of the Chennai Super kings since it played first match in 2007 before Supreme Court appointed RS Lodha Panel banned the CSK and Rajasthan Royals for 2013 IPL season fixing and betting scandal.
Big names in rapid cricket like Brendon McCullam, Ravinder Jadeja, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo will play under Raina’s captaincy. Australian Brad Hodge will be coach of the team.
Raina,27, said he was looking forward to players’ auction on February 6.
“I am excited about the auction and will sit with team coach and owner to decide on the players,” said Raina.
Raina, who made his comeback in the India t-20 team for Australia tour, made unbeaten 49 match winning runs in third encounter in Sydney.
“All the innings are important. Especially you win the game for your club, state or Indian team. It is always important to give a win to dressing room. When I was batting Yuvi Pa ji was telling me that I have to run when he miss he miss the ball. Idea was that I should finish the game as I was batting well. In the last over he hit a four on first ball then a six. I knew I have to finish the game. Me, Dhoni and Yuvi (Yuvraj) have been playing together since long and understand each other,” he said
Raina said: “team played very good cricket there. Yes, results are not as we wated. But everyone Bhumra pandya, showed a good character. They showed real toughness there. It is not easy when you go to Australia. Especially, when you are touring for fist time and do really well. I think we played well in all departments”.