Throughout the IPL 2023 season, Rinku Singh stood out as the shining star for the Kolkata Knight Riders, even in the midst of the team’s inconsistent campaign. Unfortunately, the Knight Riders ended their season with a narrow one-run defeat against the Lucknow Super Giants in Kolkata on Saturday.
Rinku’s consistent performances and his ability to handle pressure situations have caught the attention of Flower, further enhancing his potential for future opportunities at the international level. With his cool temperament and hunger for success, Rinku Singh could certainly be considered a promising candidate for representing India in the future.
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“Rinku played out of his skin again to get them that close, didn’t he? We were really in good situation, but if they had won it from there it would have been genuinely astounding,” Flower said in the post-match media interaction.
The T20 World Cup and Ashes-winning former England coach further said Rinku has got “future”.
“He looks like a really physically talented guy. He also looks like he is really hungry for success and humble at the same time and confident of what can he do — it’s really good package.
“There’s so much batting talent in the country. He is showing that he can do it under pressure, that’s a key aspect of playing international cricket. I think he’s got a future,” the 55-year-old added.
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Chasing 177, KKR were in dire straits with 136/7 after 18 overs but Rinku nearly pulled off yet another miraculous win with his 33-ball 67 not out but only to miss by one run in a last-ball thriller.
Rinku needed three sixes off the last three balls.
It was a situation similar to that of their dramatic win against Gujarat Titans earlier this season, when Rinku smashed five sixes in a row to pull off a heist.
But this time, he managed two sixes while the other, in the penultimate ball, turned out to be a four as KKR lost by the narrowest of margins.
“He (Rinku) batted beautifully. It was a matter of not making really an obvious error in those last few overs.
“But Naveen (ul Haq) and Yash (Thakur) did quite a tough job bowling multiple overs in a row at the death. But they came through in the end. Both have been brilliant this season.”
The Zimbabwean was also all praise for Nicholas Pooran and said he made all the difference with his 30-ball 58 batting at No 7.
“He’s (Pooran) been sensational for us. He made the difference. It was important to be him there till the death.
“He’s getting greater clarity day by day. It was a wonderful mixture of boundary hitting and also rotating the strike in an excellent partnership with (Ayush) Badoni, key to winning this game.”
Pooran’s time would come again at WI
However, Pooran has not been able to impress himself for the West Indies and stepped down as their white ball skipper following their first round exit from the T20 World Cup debacle last year.
Having taken over the reins from Kieron Pollard in May 2022, Pooran won just four out of 15 ODIs and four out of 15 T20Is.
But they hit the nadir in the Australia T20 World Cup, when the two-time champions endured shocking losses to Scotland and Ireland.
Flower however believed Pooran’s time would come again.
“He’s still a young man developing his game. I’m certain that he will do amazing thing for WI cricket. He’s a brilliant team member. I would imagine he would come again as leader in some stage in future.
“He’s very physically talented, worked hard on bat swing, does a lot of boundary hitting practice. He has put in hard yards to get to where he is right now.
“I do think captaincy experience was good for him. He is great help to KL (Rahul) and now Krunal (Pandya) at the moment. Everyone in dressing room loves him. He is developing nicely in all sorts of ways,” Flower signed off.
(With PTI inputs)