'I'm his big fan, but not because of those 5 sixes...': Ex-BCCI selector's enormous 'Team India' remark for Rinku
The former Team India selector spoke in detail about Rinku Singh's performances, and also namedropped two emerging youngsters in the league.
Last year, the Indian Premier League saw the emergence of a number of talented young Indian players, even in their sides that hadn't enjoyed particularly impressive season. Tilak Varma's performances were one of the very few positives for Mumbai Indians as they finished at the last spot in the 2022 table; Sunrisers Hyderabad's Umran Malik, meanwhile, enjoyed a stellar season with the ball and even made into the Indian team, even as the side finished eighth.
While Tilak scored 397 runs in 14 matches – largely batting in the middle and lower-middle order – Umran took 22 wickets in 14 games and was justifiably the top wicket-taker from the franchise. While Tilak has continued his impressive run this year, Kolkata Knight Riders' Rinku Singh has also emerged with a number of stellar outings in 2023.
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Not many will easily forget Rinku's crazy finish against defending champions Gujarat Titans earlier in the season; with 28 required to win off the final 5 balls, Rinku smashed five-successive sixes in a miraculous win for the Knight Riders. The 25-year-old batter from Uttar Pradesh has scored 180 runs in six matches so far, smashing at a brilliant strike rate of 156. Following his explosive outings for KKR, many former cricketers have touted Rinku for a Team India call-up but former BCCI selector Sarandeep Singh, in an interaction, insisted that Rinku needs to keep performing consistently in the IPL first.
“See, he has to keep performing. He has played good for UP, he's a very good cricketer. It's not just about five sixes, he has to win more games. He has the talent to play for India. I'm his big fan, not because he hit those five sixes, but because I've been following him from domestic cricket and I'm very impressed with him,” Sarandeep, IPL Commentator and Expert for JioCinema, told Hindustan Times.
In the same response, Sarandeep also mentioned Tilak and GT's Sai Sudharsan, who have also produced impressive performances. The former India selector commended Tilak on his mindset, stating that it seemed the youngster is playing cricket for 10 years.
“If you play good across formats, you have the temperament of performing at the highest level. Look at Tilak Varma, for example. He scores runs in domestic cricket and brings the same form in IPL as well. He looks more mature than many players in the league. It almost seems he's playing for 10 years,” said Sarandeep.
“Sai Sudharsan is handling the batting lineup for GT so well, despite so many India players in that lineup. When he arrives to bat, GT look more balanced. So, performances always come first. You have to keep doing the same things until you get that India call-up.”
Tilak had already amassed 214 runs in five innings so far at a staggering average of 53.50, and a strike rate of 158 in the ongoing edition so far. 22-year-old Sai Sudharsan, meanwhile, has 176 runs to his name in five games this year.
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