Out of favour India batsman Suresh Raina has been appointed as the deputy of MS Dhoni for the returning franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the next edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). Chennai Super Kings along with Rajasthan Royals were barred from the IPL for the past two seasons because of the corruption and fixing allegations against their respective owners.
In the last two seasons of IPL, Raina led the dysfunctional Gujarat Lions side. Just a week ago, IPL retention was held in Bangalore wherein CSK retained the services of three of their marquee players MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.
"MS Dhoni is going to be the captain, I'm going to be the vice-captain, Jadeja is also going to be there. Then there are certain players in the auction. We all will be having a meeting soon and then decide what planning we will be having for the auction," Raina said in an exclusive interview with India Today.
The much-awaited IPL auction is scheduled to be held in Bangalore on January 27 and 28. Raina, who was retained by the CSK franchise for a whopping Rs. 11 crore, made it clear that they will look to bid aggressively with some top-notch signings in the auction.
"I have already got the sheet, I'll have a go through it, MS will also go through it. It's important to have few important quality Indian players," the southpaw said.
"This year you will have the best team in CSK, I have a feeling. Because two years I have played for Gujarat, he (Dhoni) played in Pune and played a lot of matches for India also and then I've been playing a lot of domestic games...I've seen a lot of talent," he further added.
With his IPL team sorted for the next five seasons, Raina is ecstatic with the prospect of sharing the dressing room with his mentor and beloved captain Dhoni once again. The swashbuckling left-hander, who has played a key role in securing two IPL titles for Chennai, is also excited to don the yellow jersey in the next IPL.
“I've become a matured player there. I've worked with Stephen Fleming, Kepler Wessels, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey. I've been lucky to have many left-handers in my team when I started off and having MS Dhoni in your side is great because he is so calm. The best thing about him is he does each and everything very calmly. I'm very excited to play in yellow again,” concluded Raina.