I’ve learnt a lot from Dhoni and Stephen Fleming, says Raina

Rajkot : Indian batsman Suresh Raina who for the first time is leading a side — Gujarat Lions in the Indian Premier League (IPL) — says he has learnt the tricks of the trade from the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Stephen Fleming who have been successful skippers for their countries.

Lions are at present second on the points table with eight points from five games, with Raina earning a lot of plaudits for the show so far.

Raina played eight IPL editions for now-suspended Chennai Super Kings where Dhoni and Fleming played big roles since the inception of the southern outfit in 2008.

“I have played alongside many players in the IPL who have captained their countries. I have learnt a lot from the likes of Baz (Brendon McCullum), (Dwayne) Bravo, (Stephen) Fleming and MS Dhoni,??? Raina was quoted as saying by the iplt20 website on Monday.

Elaborating on his relationship with Dhoni, the present Rising Pune Supergiants skipper, Raina said: ???I have spent a lot of time with MS over the last 10-15 years and I have seen how he goes about his job as a captain before and during a game.”

Raina also added that “He keep talking to him and asking him questions in the field, standing at slip or point as to what he is thinking and why he made a particular move. He is so calm under pressure and he is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world”.

“At a very young age, I played with Rahul (Dravid) bhai and Mohammad Kaif (his captain in the Uttar Pradesh team) and I gathered a lot from these men.”

“Now that I have this opportunity to lead my own team, I am just trying to put together all that I learned from my various captains and do a good job of being one myself.???

The 29-year-old said the franchise had prepared well before the auctions and got the players they wanted.

“We prepared really well before the auction. We picked well at the auction and got a bunch of players we wanted.”

“We have won four of our five matches so far and for that the credit goes to the coaching staff of Hodgy (Brad Hodge), Heath Streak, Sitanshu Kotak and all the members of the support staff,??? he said.