Suresh Raina - File Photo
The Indian Premier League goes into its eleventh season with eight teams battling it out in sixty matches for winning the IPL crown.
Over its decade-old journey, many T20 stalwarts have set the IPL ablaze with their heroics on the green turf, helping their team's cause in winning the glittering trophy.
While some of them had their days under the sun for one odd season, a select few became the lynch-pins for their teams over multiple seasons. One such name which comes right at the top of the list is Suresh Raina.
Suresh Raina has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings team which by far has been the most dominating in the league's history. Since the inception of the tournament, Raina has been the lynchpin of the Yellow Brigade's batting lineup alongside MS Dhoni. Raina has won many matches for his side by producing some match-winning knocks.
The left-hander has been a prolific run-getter for his side and stands atop the IPL as the leading run scorer. With a whopping 4540 runs at an average of nearly 35 with staggering 140-odd strike rate, Raina stands tall as one of the best with the willow in the history of the league.
Raina holds many records in the IPL. He is the only player to amass 400 runs in seven seasons. Raina is among the select few batsmen to have a century in the league and has stroked his way to the second fastest half-century in the league.
When on full song, Raina is one of the most dangerous power hitters of the game. A smasher of the red cherry, the southpaw has decimated some quality attacks with his predominantly leg side hitting.
Raina forged a brilliant partnership with MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja in CSK's rock steady middle order to close out many nerve-racking games for Chennai.
Apart from his blistering batting, Raina adds value to his side with his part-time off-spin. Raina has lent good support to the frontline spinners in Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Shadab Jakati in making CSK a quality spin attack. Skipper MSD has relied on Raina heavily for making crucial breakthroughs for his side in the IPL.
Raina is second to none when it comes sheer athleticism on the field. Over the years, Raina has pulled off some spectacular catches and effected eye-catching runouts to turn the course of a match. A specialist at the point region, Raina has been one of IPL's best close in fielders alongside Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo. The sight of Raina leaping like a tiger
With 86 catches to his name, Raina is the runaway leader with most catches in the league. A complete team man who can don any role for his team's side, Raina is set to pack a punch when CSK battle it out with the other teams in their comeback season in the IPL.