Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif said about playing lots of games together in last 12 odd years. Both have been played Indian team and Uttar Pradesh cricket and also now they joined at the Indian Premier League franchise Gujarat Lions.
After winning the match over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday in Bengaluru Raina and Kaif said to iplt20.com about playing days for UP. Kaif’s pressure on India’s fielding.
Kaif asked questions to his junior Raina about playing days for UP and also memorable Ranji Trophy 2005-06 win. Raina said “We have played so many matches together for UP, India A, India. But that 2006 Ranji Trophy win remains special. Kaif bhai batted so well in the final (92 and 109) and we became Ranji champions for the first time. Winning it for the first time was similar to winning a World Cup at home.”
Raina praise to Kaif, calling him one of the nicest guys, Raina said “I’ve played a lot with him, and the best thing about Kaif is that he is one of the nicest persons. He gave me and a lot of other youngsters like Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla, RP Singh, Sudeep Tyagi and Bhuvneshwar Kumar a lot of confidence.”
Raina said about watching Kaif’s fielding, “Kaif played for India those days and we used to come to Kanpur boarding school to watch his fielding. I think John Wright must be pleased to have him on the side, as he would save a lot of boundaries, cut the singles. I still remember the brilliant run out he did against England (Nick Knight) in World Cup 2003.”
Gujarat assistant coach Kaif said about Raina praising him, “Only players can make a captain look good on the field, and I was fortunate to have the likes of Raina, RP, Praveen, Chawla and Bhuvi in my team, who could go on to win matches for the team on their own.”
Gujarat Lions skipper Raina added continued with his praise to Kaif, “Kaif is my idol. We used to stand in the slips together and take a lot of brilliant catches. I have learned how to celebrate catches from Kaif. The intensity he brought to the fielding drills, I have never seen anything like that.”
“The momentum from practice sessions does come to the games, and that is something I have learned from Kaif. He brought the craze for fielding among Indian players and with it the belief that if he can do, we too can. It was definitely a turning point in my life.”