Raina made his ODI debut in 2005 against Sri Lanka at the age of 18. However, his Test debut came only five years later, in 2010, against the same opposition. Raina was a part of India's World Cup winning team of 2011. But his technique has often been questioned by experts specially against fast and short balls. His average overseas records does support it and he hasn't been able to cement his place in the test side.But he's very successful in less demanding T20 format and in IPL for Chennai Super Kings. He has scored the most runs IPL and holds records like the most runs in IPL, most catches, has hit second most sixes and has played each and every match for his team Chennai Super Kings.
Raina decided to play cricket in 2000, and moved from his city Muradnagar, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh (near New Delhi) to Lucknow, to attend the specialist government Sports College. He rose to become the captain of the Uttar Pradesh U-16s came to prominence amongst Indian selectors in 2002, when he was selected at the age of 15 and a half years for the U-19 tour to England, where he made a pair of half-centuries in the U-19 Test matches. He toured Sri Lanka later that year with the U-17 team. He made his Ranji Trophy debut for Uttar Pradesh against Assam in February 2003 at the age of 16, but did not play another match until the following season. In late 2003, he toured Pakistan for the U-19 Asian ODI Championship before being selected for the 2004 U-19 World Cup, where he scored three half centuries, including a 90 scored off only 38 balls. He was then awarded a Border-Gavaskar scholarship to train at the Australian Cricket Academy and in early 2005, he made his first-class limited overs debut, and scored 645 runs that season at an average of 53.75. He was selected to participate in the Challenger Series in early 2005, and after injury to Sachin Tendulkar and suspension to captain Sourav Ganguly, Raina was selected for the Indian Oil Cup 2005 in Sri Lanka.
In South Africa's tour to India in 2010, Raina was called in the squad for the second test, but was not selected in the playing XI. He captained the Indian team for the Tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe as all the other first-choice players were rested from the tournament. India lost the first match under his captaincy against Zimbabwe by six wickets, but won the next match against Sri Lanka. The Indians then lost their remaining two matches and did not make the final...
Raina was then brought into the Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in July and August 2010. He made his debut in the Second Test after Yuvraj Singh was ill. Sri Lanka made 4/642 declared and India were in trouble at 4/241 when Raina came in to join Sachin Tendulkar. Raina went on to reach a century on debut as the pair put on a double century partnership. Yuvraj recovered in time for the Third Test but the selectors opted to retain Raina. However, poor form throughout 2010,apart from a half century against Australia at Mohali, and a failure to make any impact on the Centurion Test which South Africa won by an innings, he was dropped in favour of rookie Cheteshwar Pujara for the remainder of the series, in which India battled back to draw, 1–1.
He was on the bench through the first half of the 2011 Cricket World Cup as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni went with the in-form Yusuf Pathan. This remained so until the group game against West Indies, which he started due to an injury to Virender Sehwag. He started against defending champions Australia in the quarter-finals as Dhoni made a strategic change, omitting Yusuf Pathan in favour of Raina. Raina responded by assisting Yuvraj Singh in a successful run chase through high pressure, making 34 from 28 balls to carry India to victory. In the semi-final against Pakistan, he batted with tailenders and scored unbeaten 36 runs without which India would have been hard pressed to bowl Pakistan out, as they ultimately did. He also fielded well in this game, taking the catch which completed Younis Khan's dismissal of Yuvraj's over.
India toured West Indies after the World Cup with captain MS Dhoni rested and vice captain Virender Sehwag injured. Gautam Gambhir was named captain for the One dayers and T20's with Raina as his deputy. But due to injury Gambhir was ruled out with Raina captaining with Harbhajan as his deputy. India won the series, but Raina averaged just 16.4. In the Test matches he scored 232 runs at the average of 46.4 scoring crucial fifties in each Test.
He was selected for the England tour in July. There was a lot of debate on who should play the first Test at Lord's, Yuvraj or Raina. But a century in a practice match against Somerset sealed a place for him in the playing eleven. Apart from a half-century in the first Test at Lord's, Raina managed just 27 runs from seven innings. He struggled against short bowling and in the final Test was out for a 29-ball duck, the longest in India's Test history.
Raina running through a poor form in the Test series especially in the last match made some impact in the 5 match-ODI series though the team was unable to secure a win at all. He top-scored in a rain-affected game at the Lord's scoring a commendable 84 from 75 balls.
In the first ODI, Raina played an attacking 45 ball, 50-run knock to help India reach 314. They eventually won the match by 21 runs on 21 July 2012.
In the second ODI he was out for 1 but he came back stronger in the third ODI where he played a blistering 45 ball 65 to hand India a five wicket win and he eventually also won the man of the match award for his performance. Gambhir too scored a century in that match.
He continued his good form in the 4th ODI as he score his 3rd half-century of the series and helped India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wicktes by scoring 58*.
He was out for a duck in the last ODI.
After the Tour of Sri Lanka, When England team came to India, he was dropped and gave away his spot to Yuvraj Singh, Who made a come back after suffering from Cancer.
Raina has registered strong performances in this series which India won 3-2. He slammed 277 runs at an average of 92.33 with four consecutive half centuries but only two of them in winning cause. He became 13th Indian batsman to cross 4000 international runs in his 159th ODI and got his first man of the series award in this format. He also joined the ICC top 10 batsmen for the first time in his career after this series.
Raina was signed by the Chennai Super Kings for US$ 5 million for the first three years of the tournament. Raina made significant contributions in the first edition of the tournament to compensate the Chennai Super Kings over the losses of key players in Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey and Jacob Oram. He played a vital Man of the Match performance in the last league fixture to give Chennai Super Kings the win they required to qualify for the semi-finals. Ultimately the Super Kings finished as the runners-up of the league with Raina with 421 scoring the most runs for them.
Raina found form in the 2009 IPL scoring 434 runs off the 14 games he had played at a strike rate over 140.00.He made a sensational 98 runs from 55 balls (losing his century due to scoring errors) against the Rajasthan Royals at Centurion. He was the fourth leading-run getter of the tournament and second for the Super kings behind Orange-cap holder Matthew Hayden. Raina also became the fifth economical bowler of the tournament taking 7 wickets in all.
Again in 2010 IPL, Raina's consistent batting throughout the series won him applause and became the all-time run-getter of the league surpassing Australian legend Adam Gilchrist halfway down the tournament.He also captained the Super Kings for three matches in skipper Dhoni's absence and took some sensational catches in the field. He scored 520 runs in all, making him the third highest-run getter of the series and the first for Chennai. He also was awarded "best fielder" by the BCCI ahead of the finals. He played a vital half-century which turned the final to Chennai's tide who ultimately went on to become the champions beating the Mumbai Indians.
At the end of the season, Raina set the record for most runs scored in the tournament, with 421, 434, and 520 and also taking the most no. of catches, two records that are still unbroken. Raina also hit the second maximum no. of sixes behind Adam Gilchrist in the three editions of the league. He was retained by the Super Kings for the 2011 Indian Premier League along with Murali Vijay, Albie Morkel and skipper MS Dhoni.
In the 2011 IPL too, Raina maintained his reputation as the leading run-scorer with 438 runs, again being the only player to cross 400 do so for all the four seasons. His most crucial knock came against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Qualifier where he played a stunning innings to get the game back to Chennai's favor.
Despite struggling to find form in the initial stages of the 2012 IPL, Raina found form in the latter stages and finished the tournament as Chennai's leading run scorer, scoring 441 runs and on the course became the only player to score 400 runs in every IPL. He scored a blistering 73 in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders and added 116 with Mike Hussey, who scored a magnificent 86, to help his team put a big total on board. He became the first player in the history of IPL to cross the mark of 2000 IPL runs.
In 2013 IPL Raina scored 548 runs at a healthy average of 42.15 and strike rate of 150.13. At the start of the season he was struggling with his form but in the later half he regained his form.He scored his maiden hundred in IPL against Kings XI Punjab. Raina scored an astonishing 99 not out off 52 deliveries against Sunrisers Hyderabad and helped Chennai Super Kings to score a mammoth 223 runs. This was Chennai Super Kings 3rd highest total. In the 1st Qualifier against MI he along with Hussey pounded MI bowlers to reach a score of 193 for 1. He is an outstanding player for Chennai Super Kings.