He was one of MS Dhoni’s trusted lieutenants during the best days of CSK [Chennai Super Kings] and not only does Suresh Raina "miss" his captain but also feels balked in the manner he was removed from RPS [Rising Pune Supergiant] captaincy.
"I was disappointed. He has done so well for the country as well as for the IPL teams. He should be respected every time. It's about not me saying, it's the world saying," Suresh Raina told PTI in an interview.
The Ranchi boy has so far scored only 61 runs in five matches with a strike-rate of 87 and that has invited criticism from all quarters.
"Having shared the dressing room with him (for India and CSK), you know what goes through when one faces hardships. He (Dhoni) should be respected as a player. In any profession, be it as a player or a journalist, you need to be respected. Even a player, however short his career span may be, wants to earn respect."
Asked whether it's stirring Mahi, he said: "I don't think. He's back among runs. Hope he will do well better after two-three matches. We have only played five matches. After sometime the picture will be clear. He should bat up the order and bat long. He's a world class finisher.”
The Gujrat Lions Skipper termed his eight-year stint with CSK as the "best experience".
"The time I spent with Chennai Super Kings will always remain special. We have won so many trophies, be it IPL or Champions League T20. When I was very young, it gave me a great learning opportunity by being among all the legends," Raina, who was the man-of-the-match in their first IPL victory over Mumbai Indians in 2010, said.
On a different note, the UP boy seemed hopeful that Virat Kohli’s Indian team will be able to retain ICC Champions Trophy lifts in 2013.
Suresh Raina said that Kohli's aggression is his biggest plus point.
"Everyone supports him on the field. All the players like to play that way. If he starts scoring runs, I don't think anyone can stop him from winning the Champions Trophy. He has done well in Test and one-day cricket. Now it's time to go to England and do what MS did in ODIs (in 2013)," the 30-years-old batsman said.
The Champions Trophy winner said that IPL transformed him as a player making him more confident and positive in his approach.
"By playing IPL, I got over my hesitations. It created a positive vibe in me. Like you say cricketing instincts. You are in a good zone when you hit a bowler instinctively -- I developed that and dominated the bowlers.”
"Kohli has done really well in that department (passion and intensity). I feel he will lift the Champions Trophy for India this time. He knows how to channelise his emotion into aggression," Raina said.