‘Rinku Singh missed out because…’: Irfan Pathan questions 'inconsistency' in Team India's T20 World Cup squad selection | Crickit
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‘Rinku Singh missed out because…’: Irfan Pathan questions 'inconsistency' in Team India's T20 World Cup squad selection

ByAditya Maheshwari
May 02, 2024 12:47 PM IST

Irfan Pathan asserted that he would have definitely picked Rinku Singh in his side as India need a finisher like him in the playing XI to get the job done.

Team India's squad for the T20 World Cup was announced on Tuesday, and the biggest shocker from the list was the omission of Rinku Singh from the 15 selected players. The Uttar Pradesh power-hitter was named in the reserves. Before the start of the IPL, Rinku was one of the first names in almost everyone's mind when it came to picking the T20 World Cup squad. He built a big reputation as a finisher which the team was searching for since MS Dhoni's retirement. In 15 T20Is he played for India so far, the left-handed powerhouse smashed 356 runs at an astonishing average of 89 and a strike rate of 176.23. He also won the matches for the Men in Blue on a couple of occasions on his own.

Rinku Singh failed to make it to the 15-member India squad for the T20 World Cup.(AFP)
Rinku Singh failed to make it to the 15-member India squad for the T20 World Cup.(AFP)

However, IPL 2024 began in March end, and things started changing for him. Kolkata Knight Riders looked a much-improved side than the last two years, where Rinku was their shining star. The franchise brought back their prodigal son Gautam Gambhir as a mentor this time, and he reinstated Sunil Narine as the opener alongside Phil Salt. The two-time champions started producing positive results banking on Narine-Salt assault at the top of the order. In the 9 matches, Rinku didn't get much opportunity to bat and faced only 82 balls on which he hit 123 runs at a strike rate of 150.

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The lack of chances to perform somehow snatched Rinku's place from the T20 World Cup squad. However, that was not the case with other players like Hardik Pandya (197 runs and 6 wickets), Ravindra Jadeja (159 runs and 5 wickets) and Mohammed Siraj (6) - who are going through a rough patch in the ongoing IPL but got picked in the 15-member squad.

Also Read | 'His heart is broken': Rinku Singh's father reveals son's first reaction to mother after India T20 World Cup snub

In a selected media interaction, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan replied to a Hindustan Times query about Rinku's absence and inconsistency in Team India's selection for the mega ICC event.

Pathan said that he had the same question in his mind when the squad was announced, but he dissected why out-of-form Hardik and Jadeja were picked on the side.

"I have that question as well when announcement did happen, when you are talking about Rinku Singh not being picked, he should've been picked absolutely. But at the same time, when you see Hardik Pandya's performance is not there, so you think, why is he there? And I think he is there because of his past performance for Team India, and in the ICC Champions Trophy, he had a decent run as well. The only thing is he is not playing consistent cricket, but there is some consistency towards Hardik Pandya when it comes to playing him in the team as far as the World Cup is concerned, giving him vice-captaincy as well. There other guys as well, who you think that Ravindra Jadeja as well, he has not finished the game as far as the batting is concerned, but they are backing him, there is some consistency there because they are playing for India regularly," Pathan replied to Hindustan Times query on Star Sports Press Room Show.

The 2007 T20 World Cup-winning star asserted that he would have definitely picked Rinku in his side as India need a finisher like him in the playing XI to get the job done.

"Now, when it comes to Rinku Singh, that has not been there, and I think he missed out because they wanted to go with an extra spinner. That was the tough call they had to make, and they made this call. If you ask me, how I would have gone with three spinners and I would have surely got Rinku Singh in and some someway down the line, I would've kept eye on Hardik Pandya or Shivam Dube who is actually performing and not performing and then I'll make sure that Rinku Singh is there in the playing XI as well because I want someone to finish the game," Pathan said.

Also Read | 'Rinku Singh a scapegoat': Ajit Agarkar, selectors shown no mercy by Kris Srikkanth over ‘rubbish selection’ for WC

In the 11 innings Rinku batted for India, he remained not out on seven occasions, which Pathan also pointed out while praising his match-finishing skills.

"He was finishing the game, which was a tough thing to do. Finishing the game is not easy, and he was able to do, he was able to do it for his franchise, able to do it for Team India as well and quite a few not out as well as possible, which means he finished the game and saw Team India through as well," he added.

The left-handed all-rounder further suggested that there is indeed some inconsistency in terms of squad selection as players like Ravi Bishnoi and Rinku missed out, but some out-of-form seniors got picked.

"So there are some places of consistency, which I like in the case of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and some other guys as well, but in the name of Ravi Bishnoi, there is no consistency. He is still number 6 in the ICC Rankings, and it's not there in the name of Rinku Singh. So question mark is there and question mark will be there," he concluded.

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