New Delhi: Suresh Raina's all-round show in the five-match ODI series, helped India to clinch the series 3-1. After the first match was washed out due to rain, without a ball being bowled, the southpaw scored a magnificent ton in the 2nd match, to make sure that the Men in Blue put up a total of over 300 runs. He then fielded brilliantly to lift the spirit of the team and took a wicket as well. Later, for his match-wining performance, he was rewarded with the Man of the Match award.
Raina carried his good batting form in the next game as well and played a swift knock of 42 runs as India won the match by six wickets with 42 balls remaining. The 27-year-old also scalped a crucial wicket of opener Alex Hales, when he was looking dangerous on 42.
Though in the 4th ODI, Raina wasn't required to bat but he once again provided India a big wicket in the form of Joe Root and then gave India another breakthrough by running Chris Woakes out. India comprehensively won three matches on the trot to seal the series.
In fact, in the fifth and final ODI, the handy-off spin of Raina worked once again. And this time he scalped the wicket of skipper Alastair Cook. Though, India lost the dead rubber, the UP cricketer remained the most economical bowler for the tourists. Raina looked dangerous with the bat as well during his 23-ball stay, when India came to chase down the total of 294, but got out off Woakes after scoring 18 runs.
But Raina certainly gave the Indian team a fresh lease of life, when he joined the team after the shameful Test defeat of 3-1. He lifted the team morale, which was at an all time low, by his all-round efforts on the field and helped his side win a bilateral series in England after 24 long years.
For his outstanding performance throughout the series, he was awarded with Man of the Series award. “I worked hard on the mental side and my fitness. Looking to bat positive. The World Cup is around the corner, we need to stay positive. We've worked hard on our game and this group has won us the series. The fielding creates a positive environment in the circle and that has been important," stated Raina after receiving the award.