Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina has been in excellent form on the field. His form off it though has hardly been shabby either. The left-handed hard-hitting batsman, who will lead India in the three ODIs in Bangladesh in June, is reportedly dating Bollywood actress Shruti Haasan.
According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, the 27-year-old cricketer has taken his 'friendship' with Shruti - daughter of veteran actor Kamal Hassan - to the next, more serious level. While the two were close, a source reveals that the 'partnership' has become more solid in recent times. (Also read: Game of thrones as Chennai Super Kings battle Kings XI Punjab)
"Raina used to consider her his lucky mascot. This year, she has kept away from the cricket grounds. Yet Raina is playing extremely well. So the superstition has obviously ended," the source has been quoted as saying by the report. "It is a mature relationship now and they are in love. But they are trying to keep it private and not speak about it in public."Â (Suggested read: Raina also in 'love' with CSK bowlers, praises their fighting spirit)
Raina though is far from being the first Indian cricketer to be linked with an actress. Teammate Virat Kohli's relationship with Anushka Sharma has kept the grapevines buzzing since they appeared in a television commercial together. Even veterans Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan have been involved with actresses - Geeta Basra and Isha Sharvani, respectively.
Balancing their cricket careers with their personal lives though is always a challenge - and more so if the partner has a hectic acting schedule too. "Shruti and Raina try to meet as much as their busy schedules allow them, and are very serious about each other," a source told Mirror.
It is believed that Raina was introduced to Shruti at a party last year and the two have since bonded well over common interest.