press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
Suresh Raina is all set to become the first player to touch the 4,000-run mark in the Indian Premier League.
Though not in his usual spectacular form this season, the Uttar Pradesh left-hander, who carved out a niche while playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), is 15 runs shy of a mark that would probably take him closer to being labelled an IPL legend, if he’s not one already.
Performances over a period of nine years is a good enough time to be regarded as a legend. Raina (143 matches, 3,985 runs) merits the accolade. That he has led the new franchise, Gujarat Lions, to seven wins out of 11 is commendable and, barring the unforeseen, the Lions should feature in the play-offs.
Raina played his first 132 matches for CSK, scored 3,699 runs with one century and 25 half-centuries at an average of 34.25 and a strike rate of 139.85. Of these 2,448 runs contributed to CSK’s 79 wins at a strike rate of 8.57 an over (142.91). So far he has scored 286 runs with one half-century (75 against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Rajkot) for Lions.
Father-to-be Raina — has departed for the Netherlands to be with his wife — and team sources are not sure whether he is likely to return before Lions’ next match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on May 14.
First of them all
There are quite a few more who could soon claim legend status or may be deemed one. Former CSK skipper, bought at $1.5 million in 2008, M.S. Dhoni is one who could easily claim to be the first IPL legend (139 matches, 3,168 runs, 38.63 ave, 65 catches, 24 stumpings) and also leading CSK to two IPL and Champions League wins and other runner-up, play-offs and semifinal positions. Dhoni played 129 matches for CSK and scored 2,986 runs.
Gautam Gambhir, who first played for Delhi Daredevils, comes next. He has played 127 matches, scored 3,531 runs and has been the face of KKR since Shah Rukh Khan bought him at $2.4 million at the 2011 auction. He has played 87 matches for KKR and scored 2,434 runs at a 123.74 strike rate (7.42 an over). He won the title for KKR in 2012 and 2014.
Mumbai Indians’ Rohit Sharma has also earned the legend tag. He has played 138 matches, scored 3,773 runs, with one century and 29 fifties and led MI to two title wins (2013 and 2015). After playing 46 matches for Deccan Chargers, which won the title in South Africa in 2009, Sharma has played 93 for MI and scored 2,603 runs with a strike rate of 132.47 (7.95 an over).
Surely Shane Watson (most valuable player in 2008 and 2013 for Rajasthan Royals, winner 2008) with 86 matches, 2,508 runs, 2×100, 14×50, 73 wickets at 26.75 avg., 24 catches — has a right to get the recognition and so would be Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers, KXIP, 80 matches, 2,069 runs, 2×100, 11×50, 92×6, 239×4, 51 catches, 16 stumpings, MVP 2009 (495 runs) and Jacques Kallis (RCB, KKR, 98 matches, 2,427 runs, 65 wkts, 31 catches).
From: The Hindu