EXCLUSIVE: ‘Time le, fir haath khol’ – Rinku Singh explains tips ‘idol’ Suresh Raina taught him to

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Time le, fir haath khol’ – Rinku Singh explains tips ‘idol’ Suresh Raina taught him to

NEW DELHI: The explosive or slam bang version of the cricket – the Twenty20s, has propelled many budding cricketers from total unknowns to superstars within just a few deliveries or overs. Young Rinku Singh stands out as a prime example, skyrocketing to fame, recognition, and superstardom in an incredibly brief timeframe. With time, he has earned the role of a ‘finisher’.
Rinku, who grabbed eyeballs for towering five sixes in an over against Gujarat Titans in the 2023 Indian Premier League season, once again hogged the limelight for hitting the winning runs in the final over and handing India a two-wicket victory against Australia in the first T20I on Thursday.
Chasing a mammoth 209 against Australia in Visakhapatnam, India were tottering at 154 for 4 in the 15th over when Rinku walked in.With a single needed off the final delivery, Rinku remained calm and dispatched pacer Sean Abbott into the stands for a six. But the delivery turned out to be a big no-ball. Hence, the six was not counted but only the run off the no-ball was considered.
After hitting the winning runs, Rinku stretched his arms and sent a clear message across that he has once again rose to the occasion and did the job for his team.

The 26-year-old Rinku, from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, has played 6 T20Is so far and scored 97 runs at an average of 97.00 and an astonishing strike rate of 194.

“I have been playing since 2013. I have played a number of matches. I love to play in different conditions and situations. Honestly, I love challenges. If someone says it is difficult or impossible, I love to do those things. The best part is that I believe in myself,” Rinku told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview just before the India vs Australia five-match T20I series.
“I generally bat down the order and these kinds of crunch situations arise automatically. So, I am familiar with these situations now. I have been practising hard and training regularly at KKR academy under Abhishek Nayar sir. Abhishek sir has helped me a lot. I have learnt a lot from him. He creates a situation and makes me practise accordingly,” Rinku said.

Rinku Singh watches the ball after playing a shot. (AFP Photo)

The 26 year-old left-hander is looking as a bright prospect for the next year’s T20 World Cup, to be hosted by the West Indies and the United States from June 4 to June 30.
With his hard-hitting batting prowess and ability to bat in crunch situations, Rinku’s name may give selectors a sweet headache while picking the team for the T20 World Cup next year.
When questioned about his readiness for the T20 World Cup, Rinku confidently replied with a ‘yes’.
“Yes. I am ready. I don’t think much about the future. If I get the chance, I will surely grab it and do well. Be it any format or anywhere in the world, if I get the chance I will give my hundred percent,” he said.
“It will be a big big thing for me. I am the only male cricketer from Aligarh to play in IPL and India as well. This is a huge thing for me. Every cricketer’s dream is to play for India and represent the country in the World Cup. I am also living this dream. I don’t know how I will react when I see my name in the World Cup squad. But I will wait for that day. I am really working hard towards that goal,” Rinku said.

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Rinku, whose rise from a humble background to superstardom has been an inspiration for many, became an overnight superstar when he whacked Gujarat Titans’ pacer Yash Dayal for five straight sixes to hand Kolkata Knight Riders a miraculous win.
“It took a while to sink in (those five sixes). Yes, those five sixes changed my life. That match and those five sixes have played a big role in my career. It is not easy to hit five sixes in an over. It is very rare. It was special because my team was chasing and I was the last hope for a win. My team praised me a lot,” Rinku said.


Suresh Raina (TOI Photo)

The 26-year-old left-hander credits Suresh Raina for his rise. The youngster, who calls Raina his ‘idol’ and ‘inspiration’, has managed to take many leaves out of the veteran’s book.
“I am a huge fan of Suresh Raina bhaiya. I follow him and try to copy him. He has played a big role in my life and career. He helped me with the bat, pads and everything I needed while playing cricket. He has sent almost everything without asking or saying anything. He is everything for me. Whenever I am in doubt, I call Raina bhaiya. He is more than a big brother to me. He has taught me how to handle pressure,” he said.
“He says Time le, 4-5 ball le, settle ho, fir apne haath khol (Take 4-5 balls to settle down and then shift to top gear). Those tips and learnings helped me a lot during IPL and now for India too,” Rinku signed off.

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