India v South Africa, Group C, World Twenty20, St Lucia May 2, 2010

Centurion Raina thanks Dhoni for help

Cricinfo staff

Suresh Raina has credited the India captain MS Dhoni for helping him develop to become the third player to score a Twenty20 international century. Raina's 101 against South Africa elevated him to elite company with only Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum having previously made hundreds.

The innings ensured victory for India, who have progressed to the Super Eights, and surpassed Gautam Gambhir's 75 three years ago as the highest score by an India player in an international. Raina said playing with Dhoni in the Chennai Super Kings' triumphant IPL campaign had been a major bonus.

"Mahi [Dhoni] helped me a lot in the IPL," Raina told reporters in St Lucia. "The senior players, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, have also supported me throughout. I've played five or six years of international cricket, it's important to fulfil the dreams they've had for me."

He brought up his milestone with a six off Albie Morkel and in doing so, made the most of an early life after he was caught off a Morne Morkel no-ball on 5. Raina said he didn't feel at his best early in the innings but found his touch as the day wore on.

"I was not hitting the ball when I came in," he said. "I was thinking 'just rotate the strike' and when I get a loose ball just go for it."

The 14-run result has left South Africa needing to beat Afghanistan in Barbados on Wednesday to move past the group stage. It is a game that South Africa should win but they have left themselves vulnerable after failing to restrict Raina's output.

"We started well with the ball, 160 was par and we were on track for that until Raina got hold of us at the back end," the captain Graeme Smith said. "It was a terrific knock, he held the innings together.

"He played with great accuracy and power and he was able to exploit our lack of accuracy towards the back end, which played into his hands. I spoke before the game about little things and that no-ball proved to be costly for us in the end."

Smith conceded that South Africa's chase wasn't helped by a slow start from himself and Jacques Kallis. Both men made reasonable scores but they didn't move fast enough and when they fell within an over of each other, they had left the team still needing 59 from 22 balls with seven wickets in hand.

"Myself and Jacques probably left it a bit late for the other guys," Smith said. "It was disappointing, when you are chasing a total and you end up 15 runs short of whatever it is and not all your guys get a chance to have a whack. We've definitely got to sharpen up before we play Afghanistan. We've got some things to work on and to think about."

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  • Dummy4 on May 4, 2010, 6:21 GMT

    to "TheOnlyEmperor" - Its a shame that people cant call a spade a spade. India badly needed some bold decisions to be made when Greg took over. He was the one who brought all the young blood in. including Raina. He and his support staff is largely responsible for Yuvi to start playing the way hes playing now. before that he was such a limited player!. Dhoni and Pathan were slotted in the right place. Suddenly we had a decent pace balling attack. and kicking out Dada and Saheer made seniors realize that they cant hung on any more on reputation. If Saheer is a better player today he should thank Greg for kicking him out. Even Ganguly came back as a better player. But he worked like a Trojen Horse to oust Greg and our World Cup dreams.

  • harshesh on May 4, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    Raina is definitely a bright prospect of the future Indian cricket team and he is trying his best to prove it now. He has got the temperament to play t20 and one day cricket but he will have to prove his worth in test cricket if he is ever given a chance and I don't see any reason why he is not going to have a shot at test cricket Hope, he is going to continue his form and help India reach to the final of the world cup t20.

  • Dummy4 on May 4, 2010, 2:28 GMT

    Averaging close to 40 in ODIs for a player who has arguably been more shuffled than anyone else in this batting order - How could that be viewed as anything other than fantastic ?. This kid has always had a target on his back and he has admirably been up to the challenge, time and time again.

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2010, 22:26 GMT

    Mr. Baig, yes we indians do believe that Dhoni can win the world cup. I would recommend you to concentrate more on pakistan than writing derisive comments on india.

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Oh come on Dhoni do you really think India can win the World Cup 2011. Wake up man.

  • Ankan on May 3, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    the question is will raina translate his T20 form into a match winning one in ODIs. India has to win this world cup (ODI) for Sachin's sake and every precious innings like this, would help.

  • Kannan on May 3, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    Raina has a priceless attribute - he does'nt succumb to the famous characteristic of his Indian peers - pressure! Coming in at no. 3 and playing freely is precious. Not many can do that, especially when another wicket can put the team on the backfoot! He has high levels of positiivity...something not clearly visible in his senior stalwarts and definitely lacking in the Indian TV commentating bunch. People have been petty minded and have shamelessly tried to pull Raina down for no fault of his... He fell vicitm because Greg Chappell endorsed him as one of India's brightest young talent. Raina was 19 then. He was kept in the wilderness for a couple of years... He had a great IPL-1,2,3. Even then his accomplishments are derided. One "expert" calls his batting "blocking and slogging". It appears, they are so blinkered and blind they don't see his running between the wickets and his exceptional fielding! But then you can't keep a good man down - except that all such delay has a cost!

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