Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has lauded Rinku Singh, likening the left-handed batter to a ‘left-handed Dhoni’ due to his composed and impactful batting in challenging situations. While Ashwin emphasized that there’s no direct comparison to the legendary MS Dhoni, he praised Rinku for displaying a similar composure at the crease. Singh earned his spot in India’s T20I squad following an impressive IPL 2023 season, where he showcased his finishing abilities.
Rinku Singh’s standout performance came in the third T20I against Afghanistan in Bengaluru, where he played a crucial role in rescuing India from a precarious position at 22 for 4. Batting alongside captain Rohit Sharma, Singh smashed an unbeaten 69 off 39 balls, contributing significantly to an unbeaten 190-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Ashwin expressed his admiration for Singh’s consistency, particularly highlighting his ability to remain composed whether batting first or chasing. The off-spinner acknowledged Singh’s dedication, citing instances from his time with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), where he diligently collected balls during practice sessions, showcasing his commitment to the game.
“He is somebody I’d call a left-handed Dhoni. I can’t compare him to Dhoni just yet because Dhoni is too big. But, I am talking about the composure that he brings. He has been consistently scoring buckets of runs for UP and broke his way into the Indian team,” said Ashwin on his YouTube channel.
He further added, “He was on the KKR bench for many years. People used to tell me that, when he was at KKR, even though he couldn’t get the chance to bat at practice, he collected all the balls that batters hit in throwdowns and gave them back to the bowler.”
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Since making his debut in August 2023 against Ireland in Dublin, the 26-year-old Rinku Singh has made rapid strides in T20Is. With impressive stats of 356 runs in 11 innings at an average of 89 and a striking strike rate of 176.23, Singh has become a reliable and impactful middle-order batsman for India in the shortest format. His composure during the back end of innings has been a significant asset, showcasing his ability to handle pressure and finish matches effectively.