Suresh Raina reveals MS Dhoni's 'out of the box' trick in 2015 World Cup match against Pakistan

Pakistan didn't expect that move by MS Dhoni.

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina. (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

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MS Dhoni is known for pulling off some out of the box tricks. One such incident happened when India was facing Pakistan at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The 2011 World Cup winners had got a good start with the bat. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli had put on a great partnership for the second wicket. However, in the 30th over, Shikhar Dhawan lost his wicket to a run-out. Ajinkya Rahane was supposed to bat at no.4, but instead, Suresh Raina came out.

It was a move that was surprising but did pay off eventually. The Uttar Pradesh batsman went on to score a 56-ball 74, which helped his side to finish on a high. Five years later, Raina has now revealed that his promotion was as surprising to him as it was for others.

Raina says he never questions any decision made by MS Dhoni

Talking about his promotion in the batting order, the 33-year-old said it was after the 20th over when Dhoni asked him to pad-up. Not expecting to go to bat that early, the batsman revealed that he was having a sandwich at that moment.

“I never questioned his decisions. I remember I was having a sandwich or something during our match against Pakistan in World Cup 2015. Suddenly after 20 overs, he said ‘pad-up’. I padded up. Virat was batting really well and this happened just a few overs before Shikhar (Dhawan) got run out. So I got out in the middle, played a few shots and scored 70-80 runs,” said Raina in a YouTube interview.

It was Raina’s counter-attacking innings which helped India to put the pressure back on Pakistan. His knock which consisted of five fours and three sixes helped India post 300 for 7 in that match. Batting at no.3, Kohli scored 107 runs off 126 balls. Dhawan also made a healthy contribution of 73 from 76 balls.

Raina also explained the reason why Dhoni decided to send him ahead of the right-handed Rahane. Leg-spinners Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah were both bowling at the time. The CSK batter decided to launch an attack against them.

“After the match, I asked him why did you send me up the order? He said, ‘I thought you will play better against the leg-spinner who was bowling at that time’. He also praised me for my batting. So I also want to know what goes on in his mind,” Raina said.

India went on to win the match by 76 runs. The Indian bowlers contributed quite well with the ball, with Mohammed Shami leading the attack by four wickets.