Ravichandran Ashwin feels Suresh Raina has hit a golden path in Indian Premier League 2013. Raina's unbeaten 99 against Sunrisers Hyderabad was the cornerstone of Chennai's big 77-run win against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday as the left-hander set a flurry of batting IPL records.
Ashwin, whose economical spells of off-spins has worked well for Chennai, admitted batsmen like Raina can play those "hammer and tongs" knocks when things go their way. Raina's 99 came off just 52 balls and was laced with 11 fours and three sixes as Chennai raced to 223 for three wickets after being put in on a batting track.
"It was one of those days where whatever he (Raina) touched turned into gold. There is not much you can do with describing a batsman's innings like that, because it happens once in every three or four games were a batsman gets away like that," Ashwin told the iplt20 website.
Raina's innings not only set up Chennai's win, it was also a statistical delight. The lefthander is the first player to register 98, 99 and a hundred at the IPL besides becoming the first to post 98, 99, 100 and 101 in Twenty20.
Raina also joined a unique club of eight other batsmen who have remained unbeaten on 99 - Ashfaq Ahmed, Salman Butt, Jean-Paul Duminy, Mukul Dagar, Steven Davies, Shaun Marsh, Luke Wright and Chadwick Walton.
"This format of the game is something that Raina has always enjoyed and it has brought him a lot of success. He relishes this format and goes through his shots and probably his carefree attitude is what takes him there," explained Ashwin, adding: "In T20s, if a batsman gets going and has the momentum with him, he can get going. It is very tough to stop a batsman when he is in that kind of mood."