‘Leaving Rinku Singh out of T20 World Cup team toughest thing': Apologetic Ajit Agarkar finds no fault in KKR batter | Crickit
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‘Leaving Rinku Singh out of T20 World Cup team toughest thing': Apologetic Ajit Agarkar finds no fault in KKR batter

May 03, 2024 07:23 AM IST

Agarkar said Rinku didn't do anything wrong. The selectors couldn't pick the dynamic left-hander in the final 15 as they wanted more bowling options.

BCCI chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar said leaving Rinku Singh out of India's 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup was one of the toughest decisions. India announced their squad on Tuesday (April 30) for the world event slated to take place in the USA and West Indies in June this year. The squad has a good mix of youth experience, but the non-selection of Rinku, one of India's top performers in T20Is in the lead-up to the IPL, became one of the biggest talking points.

India's Rinku Singh plays a shot(BCCI Twitter)
India's Rinku Singh plays a shot(BCCI Twitter)

The 26-year-old Aligarh left-hander, who captured the cricketing world's imagination with five sixes in an over during the previous IPL, made way for Shivam Dube in the main national squad while his name ended up being among the reserves.

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Two days after naming the squad, Agarkar and captain Rohit Sharma answered queries from reporters in a press conference held in Mumbai. Agarkar said Rinku didn't do anything wrong. The selectors couldn't pick the dynamic left-hander in the final 15 as they wanted more bowling options.

“(Not picking Rinku Singh) the toughest thing that we have to discuss. Rinku hasn’t done anything wrong, nor has Shubman Gill. It's about the combinations. We are not quite sure about the conditions. So we wanted to have enough (bowling) options. We have picked a couple of wrist spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, to give Rohit more options. There's Axar (Patel), a bowling all-rounder. It's just unfortunate," Agarkar said on Thursday.

'Not Riku Singh's fault that he has missed out': Agarkar

News agency PTI quoted a BCCI source privy to the developments in the selection meeting to claim that Rinku may have paid the price of the Impact Player rule in the IPL, which prevented him from having many opportunities with the bat in this IPL for his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Impact Player rule has allowed every IPL franchise to field an extra batter when they are batting and replace him with a bowler later. As a result, Rinku, who has made a name for himself as a finisher, has played only 82 balls in 9 matches in IPL 2024, scoring 123 runs at a strike rate of 150. KKR have not needed his finishing skills in most of the matches this year as their openers, Phil Salt and Sunil Narine, have been doing the bulk of the scoring.

Agarkar, however, said the decision to leave out Rinku had nothing to do with him. It was because of the combination the team management wanted to find the right balance in the USA and West Indies.

"I don't think it has anything to do with him. It's not Rinku Singh's fault that he has missed out. With two keepers who are both terrific batters, there's already an extra batter sitting. So we thought of having an extra bowling option. Rinku is a travelling reserve; that’s how close he was, it's a little tough on him but at the end of the day, you can only pick 15," Agarkar said.

India start their campaign in the T20 World Cup against Ireland on June 5.

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