'I'd call him a left-handed Dhoni' - Ravichandran Ashwin heaps high praise on rising Indian batting sensation
India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has expressed high praise for rising India star Rinku Singh, likening his composure on the field to that of the legendary MS Dhoni. Despite clarifying that directly comparing the two players would be premature, Ashwin couldn't help but draw parallels between Rinku's calm demeanor and the iconic former India skipper's renowned approach to the game.
Rinku Singh, following a standout performance in IPL 2023, has rapidly gained recognition on the international stage, especially after his remarkable performance in the third T20I against Afghanistan. In a critical situation, with India reeling at 22/4, Rinku's unbeaten 69 off 39 balls played a pivotal role in steering the team to a respectable total. His partnership with Rohit Sharma was not just a display of skill but also showed his mental fortitude under pressure.
Ashwin, on his YouTube show, didn't hold back in his admiration for the hard-hitting left-hander.
"He is somebody I’d call a left-handed Dhoni. I can’t compare him to Dhoni just yet because Dhoni is too big. But, I am talking about the composure that he brings. He has been consistently scoring buckets of runs for UP and broke his way into the Indian team," Ashwin stated, highlighting Rinku's impressive journey and his cool-headed approach similar to that of Dhoni's.
Further illustrating Rinku's dedication and commitment, Ashwin shared an anecdote from the cricketer's time with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Despite not getting ample opportunities to bat during practice sessions, Rinku's discipline and team spirit never wavered.
"He was on the KKR bench for many years. People used to tell me that, when he was at KKR, even though he couldn’t get the chance to bat at practice, he collected all the balls that batters hit in throwdowns and gave them back to the bowler," Ashwin recounted.
He emphasized how Rinku's consistent efforts and unshaken composure, whether in setting a target or chasing a score, make him a valuable asset to the Indian team.
Rinku's journey in the IPL and his promising start in T20 internationals is a narrative of hard work and talent paying off. With 474 runs in 14 matches for KKR in IPL 2023, an average of 59.25, and a strike rate of 149.53, Rinku has undoubtedly made his mark. His T20I career, though in its early stages, is already impressive. In 11 innings, he has scored 356 runs, boasting an average of 89 and a strike rate of 176.23, including two vital half-centuries.
As Rinku continues to make waves in the cricketing world, his journey shows that with the right attitude and commitment, emerging stars can shine brightly, even in the most demanding situations.