Biography

An aggressive young batsman who has dismantled bowling attacks across the country, the prodigious Raina puts people in mind of Yuvraj Singh. A string of fine performances at the junior levels - where he frequently bullied his way to double-hundreds - landed him a spot in the India Under-19 squad. His 620 runs in six games, in the 2005-06 season, propelled Uttar Pradesh to Ranji Trophy glory and a couple of composed knocks, when given the opportunity in one-dayers, got Rahul Dravid to gush: "Raina has shown what a phenomenal player he can turn into." His electric fielding added zing to the one-day side and it came as no surprise when, even before getting an ODI fifty, he was fast-tracked into the Test side against England in March 2006, and on the subsequent tour to the West Indies. However, his early promise turned into a false dawn - he couldn't manage a half-century in 15 innings - and lost his place in the one-day side on the South African tour. He played two ODIs in January 2007 but was not recalled until a year later, when India named their 16-man squad for the CB Series in Australia. Raina finally played to his true potential in the Asia Cup, slamming two centuries and finishing the second-highest run-getter.