India have lost the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh, but that did not deter all-rounder Suresh Raina in believing in skipper MS Dhoni, who was under the spotlight after two humiliating defeats in the first two matches.
Several critics had stated after those two consecutive defeats against Bangladesh that India are heading towards a 'Banglawash', but the men in blue bounced back strongly, chose the correct playing XI, and Dhoni was spot-on with his decisions in the third and final ODI against the Bangla tigers.
Raina was the man who was adjudged man of the match for his all-round contribution. But Dhoni's innings of 69 runs at number four probably propelled India to a commendable total of 317 for the loss of six wickets.
"You can't disrespect him and what he has achieved. He has won so many trophies for BCCI. At the same time he's a good human being, good honest man. One series can't make him bad. He's a good leader. Everyone loves him in the dressing room. There's still a lot of cricket left for him. So just wait for some time," Raina told Espn Cricinfo.
"The team's graph is going upwards definitely. These were the last matches of the season. We don't know when we are next playing one-days. We have done quite well in the format and we are still No.2 in the world. It's not that you become good or bad in just one series," he said.
Shikhar Dhawan scored a quick 75 runs and yet again he proved that he is the go-to man at the top of the order. Virat Kohli's poor form continued as he got out after playing a cross-batted shot to counter a flighted delivery from Shakib Al Hasan.
Dhoni pushed himself up the order at number four and he anchored the Indian innings. The Indian captain was also responsible for an important 93 runs stand with Ambati Rayudu.
Then came Raina at number six and he too showed why he is such an important player at that position and made sure that the score crossed 300 before he got out.
"No. 6 is not an easy position, you have to accelerate. Sometimes you get runs, sometimes you don't. But still you need to be positive in your mind. I am really happy. I have worked really hard with Ravi [Shastri] and at the same time Sanjay Bangar has really helped me a lot as well. Like I used to bat at leg stump, but Ravi said if you stay at middle you can play your shots over cover, over mid-off, over mid-on [better].
"My mindset has improved over the years as well. I have learned how to bat with the tailenders. When you are not scoring runs up front, you need to just look to bat really well with whoever comes in. Whether it is Jadeja, Axar, Ashwin, Stuart or Harbhajan...because you need to get a lot of runs towards the end because getting totals of 260-280 are easier to defend," the man of the match added.
Raina came in handy with the ball as well in third and final ODI at Mirpur on Wednesday as he added three scalps to his name. He bowled really well in a pressure situation alongside Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, that too at a point when Bangladeshi batsmen were looking to accelerate.
"You know that five fielders are in and you have to contain, not let them rotate the strike. It's pressure on the batsmen too, chasing 300 and they know that five fielders are inside - that gives a chance to bowlers if you bowl a good line and length. I know how a batsman plays in that situation because when I'm batting, my mind also works like that. So I have some experience of bowling in those situations," Raina concluded.