Kiran More’s blockbuster T20 World Cup take on ‘brilliant’ Indian batter

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The upcoming Asia Cup, set to commence at the end of this month, followed by the ODI World Cup scheduled to be hosted in India, starting next month, continue to dominate India’s primary focus. Amid these preparations, the management has offered a glimpse into their plans for the T20 World Cup next year. The prospective leader for this endeavor is Hardik Pandya, and India has initiated their preliminary strategies in the West Indies before proceeding to Ireland.

However, the opening match in Dublin was marred by rain last Friday. Despite this, India managed to secure victory by a narrow margin of two runs through the DLS method. The standout performer in this match was Jasprit Bumrah, who made a remarkable return with a double-wicket first over, earning him the Player of the Match award.

Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Kiran More, during a conversation with Jio Cinema, expressed his enthusiasm for Rinku Singh’s international debut. However, his expectations were dampened by rain in Dublin. After a stellar season with the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2023, where experts advocated for his inclusion in the Indian team, Rinku was eventually selected for the Ireland series after being left out of the West Indies tour. He was subsequently added to India’s Asian Games squad as well.

Anticipating that the second and third T20Is in Ireland will provide Rinku with an opportunity to showcase his talent on the international stage, More suggested that the KKR star could potentially emerge as a T20I finisher for India, following in the footsteps of MS Dhoni or Yuvraj Singh.

“I have been eagerly awaiting his chance in the Indian team. His batting position, around No.5 and 6, suits him well, and he has the potential to excel in that role as a brilliant finisher. We have all witnessed the likes of MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in that capacity. After them, we’ve been lacking such a player. We attempted to groom players for that role, but haven’t succeeded thus far. Tilak Varma is also in contention; he too could perform that role. Rinku is an exceptional fielder as well, and having observed him in domestic cricket, I believe he has made significant improvements,” he stated.

Rinku emerged as the top run-scorer among batters occupying the No.5 and 6 positions in IPL 2023, amassing 416 runs in 13 innings at an impressive strike rate of 145.45, including three half-centuries. Among the 12 batters who faced a minimum of 75 deliveries in the death overs, Rinku’s strike rate of 186.67 narrowly trailed Heinrich Klaasen’s top-ranked rate of 187.36, marking the best ever recorded by an Indian batter. Notably, his prowess in slog overs was highlighted by his ability to consistently hit boundaries, achieving this feat every 3.6 deliveries, along with hitting a maximum approximately every seven deliveries.

Echoing More’s sentiments, former India cricketer Abhishek Nayar called upon the team management to provide Rinku with consistent opportunities moving forward and to groom him for the role of a finisher in the T20 World Cup next year. Nayar noted that Rinku is tailor-made for this role, particularly given Hardik Pandya’s transition into a more prominent batting position.

While Axar Patel had previously fulfilled this role, Rinku’s prolific run-scoring record across formats in domestic cricket makes him an ideal candidate for grooming as a finisher. Drawing parallels to previous finishers like Dinesh Karthik and the evolution of Hardik Pandya, Nayar emphasized the importance of nurturing Rinku’s potential, similar to the approach taken with Tilak Varma.

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