Suresh Raina speaks about playing against MS Dhoni in IPL 2016

Right since the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have played for the same team — Chennai Super Kings (CSK). While Dhoni has led the yellow brigade to two IPL title wins, two CLT20 title wins and have guided them to four runners-up spot, Raina, has been his commander-in-chief and by far CSK’s best player. In fact, Raina has not missed a single match for CSK since 2008. With IPL’s most successful side along with Rajasthan Royals (RR) having been suspended for two years by the Supreme Court appointed Lodha panel, the tournament now sees two new sides. And for the first time in the tournament, Dhoni and Raina find themselves in opposition camps. Poll: MS Dhoni or Suresh Raina — Who will you support in IPL 2016?

In the IPL Drafts on Tuesday, the Pune team picked Dhoni while Raina was picked by the Intex-owned Rajkot side. Raina spoke to Mid-Day after the draft and when asked about playing as Dhoni’s opposition, the southpaw said, “There is no doubt it will be an emotional moment (when that happens). He is very dignified and a match-winning player. We have played with each other many times, but sometimes you have to perform against each other. That’s cricket.” Also Read: IPL players draft: MS Dhoni top pick for Pune; Suresh Raina and local-lad Ravindra Jadeja to play for Rajkot

However he clarified that it won’t be odd playing against the Indian captain with whom he has shared the dressing room numerous times. The franchise hasn’t named their captain yet but there are indications that Raina may get the nod ahead of the side’s third pick, New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum. On captaincy, Raina added, “I have led the Indian team. I have the experience of leading the team (Chennai Super Kings) in the Champions League T20 and my state team (Uttar Pradesh). Above all, I have the courage to take decisions that matter to a team. I am looking forward to this challenge and I will definitely do well.”