Suresh Raina combined with Virat Kohli to add more than 100 runs in the first T20I on Tuesday © Getty Images
Suresh Raina combined with Virat Kohli to add more than 100 runs in the first T20I on Tuesday © Getty Images

Virat Kohli has heaped praise on Suresh Raina, after the two played vital role in India’s win by 37 runs in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) against Australia, at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday. Kohli and Raina added more than 100 runs to push India closer to a 200-run total, with India eventually scoring 188 for 5 in 20 overs. Kohli top-scored with his career-best 90 not out and Raina scored 41, as India were able to register their second win on their tour to Australia. India currently lead the three-match T20I series 1-0, and the second and the final matches will be played on January 29 and 31 respectively. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Australia 2015-16, 1st T20I at Adelaide

Kohli told the official website of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), “It was brilliant. For him [Raina] to come in and play like that in his very first game was brilliant. That partnership was very crucial. We lost two wickets in one over so it was important for us to build from there, which is never easy. The way he built that innings with me, the credit goes to him as well. We ran pretty well between the wickets. Raina is a very important player for us. I am very happy for him. I am extremely happy with the effort.”  FULL UPDATES: India vs Australia 2015-16, 1st T20I at Adelaide

Raina returned to the Indian cricket team after a brief stay away, during which he played a key role in Uttar Pradesh’s successful run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2015-16. Raina was a part of the Indian side in the limited-overs leg of the South Africa series late last year, and missed out on the ODI series in Australia, in which India were blanked 1-4.

India will be playing their two remaining T20Is in Australia on January 29 and 31, at Melbourne and Sydney respectively. The team will then return home to take a brief break before their three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka begins on February 9.