The Rinku Singh way: Keep calm and back own shots

Speaking at a media conference, Rinku Singh said: ‘’You need to back yourself and stay calm. If I think too much, it will be a problem to execute my plans.’’

Rinku Singh (Photo: Twitter/ @rinkusingh235)
Rinku Singh (Photo: Twitter/ @rinkusingh235)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

Life has certainly changed for Rinku Singh, the uncapped Kolkata Knight Riders batter, ever since he clobbered those five sixes in the last over against the Gujarat Titans a month back in the IPL 2023. The unassuming 26-year-old has gradually emerged as a key finisher for the team, but it hasn’t quite changed his approach to life – or batting.

The priceless innings of 21 off 10 balls which he played against the Punjab Kings at the Eden on Monday, including the last-ball four against a canny Arshdeep Singh, helped the Knights stay afloat in the tournament. Ask him about how he pulled it off one more time, Rinku attributes it to staying ‘’calm and not think too much.’’

Speaking at a well-attended media conference on the eve of their home match against the Rajasthan Royals on Thursday, the KKR’s man of the moment said: ‘’You need to back yourself and stay calm. If I think too much, it will be a problem to execute my plans.’’

It was certainly not easy to pull the last delivery from Arshdeep, which turned a full toss directed into his body, for a four down fine leg – taking them over the line as the KKR needed two off the last ball. ‘’Yes, the crowd was chanting my name alright, but I was only focused on the last delivery,’’ he noted.

Now on 337 runs from 11 innings with an average of 56.17 (strike rate 151.12), Rinku is the highest scorer for his team this season so far. A significant aspect of his batting is that he shuns fancy shots like scoops or reverse sweeps for the better part of his innings – something which could be a legacy of his hard yards in domestic cricket for Uttar Pradesh.

Asked about it, Rinku agreed: ‘’Yes, I try to keep it simple and I back the shots I have.’’ It was something on similar lines that Mahendra Singh Dhoni also advised him when the Chennai Super Kings were at the Eden last month. ‘’I asked Dhoni bhai on what else I could do to improve on my finishing skills, he asked me not to overthink and carry on with what I am doing,’’ he said.

Now lying in sixth position with 10 points from as many matches just behind the Royals, the KKR face a must-win situation in their three remaining games. Asked if he spared any thoughts about the quality spin attack of the Royals in Ravi Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, Rinku countered they also have a potent spin attack.

‘’If we can win all our remaining three games, we have a chance to make it to the play-offs. We will take it match by match and see how it goes,’’ he signed off.

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