Rinku Singh once again excelled in his role as the finisher as he took India home in a nervous chase against Australia in the first game of the five-match T20I series on Thursday. And guess what, a certain MS Dhoni has had a hand in shaping Rinku, the finisher.
“As for my secret to calmness, I had discussions with Mahibhai about what he does to stay calm, especially in the last over,” Rinku was quoted as saying in a BCCI video after the win.
“He (Dhoni) told me to try to remain as calm as possible and try looking straight (at the bowler). That’s how I tried to stay calm in the game,” he said, though he did not mention when the discussions with Dhoni happened.
Chasing a stiff target of 209, India were reeling at 154/4 in the 15th over when Rinku walked in. The 26-year-old Uttar Pradesh batter remained not out on 22 off 14 balls, hitting four fours at a strike rate of 157.14.
“Feeling good that we won. My only aim was to be perfect when I walked out to bat, and it felt good out there to be playing alongside Surya. I was thinking of doing what I generally do in crunch situations and was trying to stay as calm as possible,” he added.
With a single needed off the final delivery, Sean Abbott was deposited into the stands for a six by Rinku but it turned out to be a no-ball. Hence, the six was not counted but only the run off the no-ball was considered.
“I didn’t realise it was a no-ball until I heard it from Axarbhai in the dressing room. Although the winning six won’t be considered, it doesn’t matter; we won the match, that’s what matters,” he said.
Rinku grabbed headlines earlier this year when, playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, he hit five sixes in an over against the Gujarat Titans to gift his team an improbable win. That helped him earn an India call-up in August for the tour of Ireland. So far, he has batted in just three T20I matches, aggregating 97 at a strike rate of 194.0.
With inputs from PTI