Former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni and the team's former vice-captain Suresh Raina have announced their retirements from international cricket, sending shock waves throughout the entire cricket universe.
MS Dhoni played his last international game against New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2019, while Raina had been absent from the international arena since July 2018.
Both MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina will turn up for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020, but the Indian cricket team fans will never see them in the blue jersey again.
Both players are incredibly close to each other, and the fact that they decided to announce their international retirement on the same date reinforces the fact.
Their off-the-field bond allowed them to understand each other's game on the field as well, and in this article we will take a look at the five most memorable partnerships between Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni.
#5. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni - 71 vs. Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2009
Starting with one of their best partnerships in the IPL, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina once stitched a 71-run stand for the fifth wicket against Rajasthan Royals in East London. Rajasthan bowlers dismissed the opening batsmen Parthiv Patel and Matthew Hayden for single digits.
Suresh Raina launched a counterattack, but did not get proper support from Subramaniam Badrinath and Jacob Oram. MS Dhoni joined Raina when the team's score was 88/4.
The duo took the team's total to 159/5 before Raina departed in the final over on the score of 98. Their partnership powered CSK to a 38-run victory in the league match against the defending champs.
#4. Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni - 82* vs. Sri Lanka, 2005
This partnership was the first match-winning stand between Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. Raina had made his debut in July 2005, while MS Dhoni earned his first ODI cap in December 2004.
It seemed like both youngsters were destined for success in the Indian cricket team and their 82-run partnership against Sri Lanka proved why these two players had a special talent.
The visitors posted a total of 261 runs on the board in the first innings of the match played at Pune. Captain Rahul Dravid hit a brilliant fifty at the top. Still, Muttiah Muralitharan and Dilhara Fernando restricted India to 180/6 from 176/3 and it looked like the islanders would sneak a win.
However, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina kept their nerves and guided India home in the 46th over. Dhoni scored 45 runs off 43 deliveries, while the southpaw Raina supported him with a 30-ball 39.
#3. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina - 118 vs. England, 2006
Just a few months after their heroics against Sri Lanka, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina stole the show once again in a run chase versus England. Andrew Strauss's 61 runs knock helped England post 226 runs on the board. Chasing a modest target of 227 runs, India slumped to 92/5 in 24.1 overs.
Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni came under pressure again, but did not let it get to them.
The southpaw hit eight fours and a six in his 89-ball 81, while MS Dhoni backed him by scoring 38 runs from 55 balls.
Most importantly, Dhoni spent 99 minutes in the middle and allowed Raina to dominate the English bowlers. Although Dhoni lost his wicket to Andrew Flintoff, the right hand-left hand duo's 118-run stand for the sixth wicket helped India win the game in the penultimate over.
#2. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina - 103 runs vs. West Indies, 2011
Unlike MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina did not have an extended stay in the Indian Test team. The Uttar Pradesh-based batsman made his Test debut in 2010 and played his last Test match against Australia in 2015. Still, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina managed to have a solid partnership in the whites as well.
Batting together in the final Test of an away Test against West Indies, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina hit a half-century each in the Indian team's first innings to help the visiting team take a massive lead of 143 runs.
Raina and Dhoni joined hands when the team's score was 172/5. They added 103 runs to the team's total in 30.4 overs. The Test match ended in a draw, and India won the 3-match series 1-0.
#1. MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina - 196* vs. Zimbabwe, ICC World Cup 2015
The most enduring partnership between MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina was the one they had in the ICC World Cup 2015 match against Zimbabwe. Brendan Taylor's 138-run knock guided Zimbabwe to a score of 287 runs in the first innings. Chasing a tricky target of 288 runs in Auckland, India got off to a slow start and were 92/4 after 22.4 overs.
With the top 4 batsmen back in the hut, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina had the responsibilty of saving the team from an embarrassing loss. The two batsmen first stabilized the innings and then destroyed the Zimbabwean bowling attack with their big shots in the final overs, helping India to a 6-wicket win with ten balls to spare.
Raina registered his first World Cup hundred, while Dhoni remained unbeaten on 85*.