Suresh Raina finally heaved a sigh of relief on December 21 after he crossed the biggest hurdle of his cricketing career in the recent time – the Yo-Yo test.
The moment he shared this good news on the social media, his fans were back to life. He thanked “all the trainers, coaches & officials” who helped him in reaching the peak of fitness. It was indeed a great day for the Indian all-rounder who has been waiting to don the blue Indian jersey yet again. However, the road to this achievement was not easy at all.
In and out of the team
The 31-year-old cricketer last represented India in an ODI match against South Africa in 2015. In 2016, he featured in the T20I World Cup in India where the Men in Blue were outclassed by West Indies in the semi-final. Then after a long gap of 11 months, Raina found himself in the squad against England for a 3-match ODI series in January 2017. Unfortunately, the viral fever took its toll on Raina and he couldn’t mark his presence. After recovery, he was able to play the last T20I against the same opposition in February. It was also the last international match he played this year.
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Beginning of tough times
After February 2017, Raina probably faced the toughest phase of his career. Followed by his sickness, he had to keep himself away from the game of cricket because of his daughter Gracia’s health issues. His fitness suffered and he put on weight. Even the BCCI dropped him from the list of central contracted players which was not a good sign at all.
Ahead of the 1oth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in an interview with The Indian Express, speaking about his increased weight, he said:
I was out for viral and illness, and couldn’t train much. It all had an effect but I am fully recovered now and started training. I am fit and ready to play IPL. Tabiyat kharaab tha, bhai, couldn’t train properly and logon ney shuru kar diya!
Later, despite playing well in IPL, where he scored 442 runs including three 50s, he didn’t find himself in the Indian squad for the Champions Trophy. Though he was one of the 5 players in the backup squad, he missed the main event.
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Then came the month of August when it was learnt from the media reports that he (along with Yuvraj Singh) couldn’t clear the Yo-Yo test. For the cricket enthusiasts, it was hard to digest that one of the best Indian fielders couldn’t manage to pass the fitness test and was dropped once again.
Never give up attitude kept him alive
All this while, Raina didn’t lose hope of making a comeback in the team. He put himself through a lathe machine of immense hard work and had publicly announced that he is “not a Thanda type of guy and will return”. His social media posts spoke volumes that a sportsperson can only succeed if he doesn’t stop fighting.
Here are some of those posts:
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Here’s the last phase of his preparations at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) before clearing the Yo Yo Test.
After all these efforts, Raina proved himself that nothing is impossible. He has passed the test which became the biggest challenge for him and the happiness could be seen on his face:
The above Instagram posts are enough to prove what all can you achieve if you don’t give up trying. In another interview with The Indian Express, Raina confidently said,
I won’t give up easily. Mera soch is clear, aaj nahi to kal, kal nahi to parso, parso nahi to narso, I will get the thing I want (My thinking is clear; if not today, then tomorrow, or day after…) And it’s only due to hard work. I am a very workaholic person, I like to work hard. That is my passion. Chance mileage to chhodna nahi hai.
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If Raina can then why can’t you?
Well, this Indian cricketer made sure that this year should end on a happy note. He has got an A+ on his fitness mark sheet and we are just waiting for the BCCI to name him in the Indian squad for the ODI and T20I series against South Africa.