Indian cricket has been on a constant high since the turn of the new millennium. the team has grown from strength to strength and there has been a constant inflow of competent bowlers and batsmen over the years. The youngsters have played alongside senior and experienced players. They have then carried the mantle and nurtured other junior players. This cycle has reaped rich dividends for the team. One great example of it would be how the experienced quartet of Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, and Tendulkar welcomed newer players like Yuvi, Dhoni, and Raina. It was a seamless transition.
Having said that, there was a clear age difference between the senior players and the newer generation players when they came in. This difference gave rise to a very funny incident. Raina, in his latest book “Belief: What Life and Cricket Taught Me” narrated how the age difference between him and Tendulkar resulted in a quirky situation.
It was in 2006 during a series, where the Indian players were seated in the business class of the aircraft. Raina was still new in the team whereas Tendulkar was a God in the country. In the flight, an air hostess came up to Tendulkar for an autograph and addressed Raina as Tendulkar’s son — Arjun.
“Hi Arjun, How are you? How is your mom?” she said as Raina recalls. Before the left-handed batsman could clarify anything, Tendulkar intervened to have some fun. Master Blaster said that both of them are doing fine but Anjali (Sachin’s wife) was upset with him (Arjun) for not focusing on his studies lately. Later on, the air hostess figured that there was something wrong and realized her mistake when she was told that it was Suresh Raina, the international cricketer, who was sitting beside the Little Master. The air hostess apologized for her mistake but this had already become comedic.
Raina spent nearly 8 years with Sachin in the Indian team’s dressing room. Sachin was part of the playing XI in Raina’s Test and T20I debuts. Raina was part of the squad in Tendulkar’s final ODI. Both the cricketers have now retired from international cricket and spend ample time with their family members. While Tendulkar is associated with Mumbai Indians as their icon; Raina plays IPL for Chennai Super Kings.