Rinku Singh reveals what Umesh Yadav told him before his five consecutive Sixes in the last over
Rinku Singh gave a peek into conversations during the climax stage of Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) scintillating finish in IPL 2023 against the Gujarat Titans (GT) on Sunday (April 9) night in Ahmedabad.
Singh recounted an interesting conversation with veteran teammate Umesh Yadav, who told him to just go for his shots without much thinking with the equation reaching hopeless proportions for the two-time champions.
Needing 29 to win off the last over, the determined KKR middle-order maverick gave it the full monte after Umesh smartly handed over him the strike ahead of the second ball. Rinku Singh belted fellow uncapped Indian cricketer Dayal for four maximums and a boundary to secure one of the grandest finishes ever in the IPL history.
In many ways, the batter resurrected himself after being left stranded at 8 off 14 balls at the point of innnings when GT's Afghan spin king Rashid Khan took a hat-trick and had seemingly taken the game away with him. But the powerpacked left-hander smashed his last seven balls for a whopping 40 runs and helped KKR overhaul the Titans' gigantic 204/4 off the last ball.
Rinku Singh reveals Umesh Yadav's role behind dramatic last-over blitz
Ever since he hit Dayal's short and wide delivery on the last ball for a maximum to script a magnificent finish, Rinku Singh is getting praise from all corners. But the cricketer personally made it a point to appreciate the role played by his teammates in the end result, especially the word of encouragement they offered to him.
Besides shrewdly taking the single off the last ball to ensure the specialist batter was on strike, Umesh made sure he left no scope for any confusion about the matter and asked the man at the other end: "laga, Rinku, sochiyo mat (just hit, Rinku, don't think now)."
Singh said that is exactly what he did under pressure, allowing his instincts to take over, especially as the game reached a no-way-back scenario. KKR needed all the remaining five balls to fetch them a boundary and that, in an amusing way, enabled clarity into Singh's game.
"To be honest I was not thinking much. Just reacting to every ball. I never thought I would hit five sixes. I just kept hitting. I had the belief. And we won the match," he said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"I had the inner belief that I can do it because I had also played [a similar] innings last year against Lucknow [Super Giants]. There also I had such a belief and today, too, I showed that belief. Rana bhai (Nitish Rana, KKR skipper) told me: 'belief rakhiyo, aakhri tak kheliyo (keep the belief, stay till the end)'," he added.