IPL 2023: India call-up not far away for Rinku Singh, says Harbhajan ahead of KKR v RR clash.. Image Source: IANS News
New Delhi, Aug 19 : Former India wicketkeeper-batter Kiran More believes uncapped left-handed batter Rinku Singh has the potential to become a brilliant finisher, just like legendary batters MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh.
Rinku excelled as a finisher for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2023, with the most notable moment being him smacking Gujarat Titans pacer Yash Dayal for five sixes on the last five balls of the match in Ahmedabad to seal an improbable victory.
Overall, Rinku scored 474 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 149.53 in the tournament, where he was the designated finisher for KKR. His strike-rate while batting in last five overs of the tournament shot up to 186.66, the best-ever for an Indian batter in the competition.
“I have been waiting for his opportunity in the Indian team. And that batting position, of No.5 and 6, he will perform well in that spot and can end up being a brilliant finisher. We all have seen MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh. After that we haven’t got a player like them,” said More in a conversation with Jio Cinema.
On Friday, Rinku debuted for India in T20Is in the series opener against Ireland, but didn’t get to bat as rain meant the visitors won by two runs via DLS method. “We tried making such players, but it didn’t work so far. Tilak Varma is also there, he too can perform that role. Rinku is also a brilliant fielder. And I have seen him in domestic cricket as well, he has improved a lot I feel,” added More, a former chief selector.
Abhishek Nayar, the Kolkata Knight Riders assistant coach who has worked closely with Rinku for the last six years, agreed with More’s views and pointed out that the left-handed batter is fit to bat at number five or six in T20Is.
“With Hardik Pandya transforming into a role of a batter and playing higher up the order, you need someone down the order who can finish off the job for you. You did have someone like Axar Patel for it, but Rinku is tailor-made.”
“He has been a prolific run-getter across formats in domestic cricket. It is just about grooming him and constantly giving those opportunities. The last player India had tagged as a finisher was Dinesh Karthik.”
“Hardik had performed that role terrifically as well, but he has now evolved as a batter who can take responsibility up the order. That is why the outlook towards Rinku should be the same as we are looking towards Tilak,” concluded Nayar, the former India all-rounder.