Suresh Raina hits a shot during his knock of 100 against England at Cardiff in the second ODI. (Getty Images)
Bereft of an inspiring performance since Ishant Sharma's seven-wicket burst at Lord's, Team India received the perfect tonic on Wednesday - provided by its limited-overs specialist Suresh Raina.
Off-field disagreements had taken precedence and Raina's century in a winning cause in the Cardiff ODI played the right notes to lift the gloom of Test series defeat. In fact, it could prove a shot in the arm for India and usher them to hammer England in ODIs.
Raina's fourth ODI hundred, his first on English soil, came off just 74 balls - pushing India to 304 and laying the foundation for the eventual 133-run victory.
There was hardly any rust on Raina as runs flew from his bat from the word go, even as England tasted blood pretty regularly until Dhoni joined the centurion in the middle.
As many as 12 fours and three sixes came off Raina's bat in a knock of 100 in 75 balls, including a partnership of 144 with Dhoni in just 16.5 overs. The left-hander's belligerence against English bowlers saw him score his last 50 runs in just 25 balls.
Raina's hundred also broke the drought of three-figure scores for him in ODIs as his last century came four years back in 2010 against Sri Lanka in Dhaka. But more than that it brought the cheer back in the Indian camp that was in a state of depression after two consecutive Test defeats by an innings.
Hope is that this performance rubs onto others in the Indian dressing room and is not left to be remembered as a flash in the pan - just like the Test win at Lord's.