Rinku Singh, who won the Kolkata Knight Riders by scoring five straight sixes in the 2023 IPL season, made his debut for Team India against Ireland. However, Rinku Singh had no chance to bat in the first game. After the Ireland series, Rinku Singh was called up to the India team for the Asian Games. However, we spoke to Rinku Singh’s coach Fasahat Ali about Rinku Singh’s debut and the upcoming games. We tried to understand Rinku Singh’s personality and mindset on and off the pitch.
What was your reaction when Rinku got a spot on Team India? Did you think this would all happen so soon?
I didn’t think the call to Team India would come so quickly. However, he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. In particular, after hitting five sixes in five balls in a row against the Gujarat Titans, people began to believe that this player could be included in the T20 team. After that inning, it seemed 100 percent like he would definitely get a spot on the Indian T20 team.
What difference do you find between Rinku Singh and other cricketers who play with him? How is Rinku different from the others?
Rinku Singh’s taluk comes from a very ordinary family. His academic record is not very good. Because of this, Rinku Singh always knew that he could only perform well in cricket. He has only one option: cricket. Because of this, he worked a lot on cricket. Rinku never let his shortcomings get in the way. Furthermore, Rinku Singh knows very well that you have to play cricket well, but at the same time, discipline is very important. This player knows very well where and where to work. As a cricketer, getting the body language right is very important.
You spoke to Rinku before the IPL… what was the last message you gave Rinku?
I know there’s a different pressure when playing in the IPL. Especially when you play at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, the enthusiasm of the fans for their team is great. If you don’t have much experience, you will feel pressured to play in such places. I told Rinku Singh before the IPL that you should play IPL games like club cricket. Don’t think I’m playing IPL. When you think you’re playing IPL, the pressure will increase, you just need to enjoy your game. The biggest pressure with an IPL is the rush.
What is special about Rinku Singh as a cricketer?
Everyone knows Rinku can hit sixes and fours with ease, but his approach to cricket is commendable. You must have seen that this time, when Rinku batted in the IPL, he ran a singles-doubles first. Because he knows he can hit sixes and fours whenever he wants. He wants to read and know the mood on the field at the start of his innings. He knows very well that if he is pinned to the goal area by hitting two sixes in the last two balls, he will win the game. This change was seen in Rinku this time, which is wonderful… It shows his confidence.
Did you think Rinku could win the match by hitting five sixes in a row?
No, no… I didn’t think that at all. I thought that if Rinku Singh played very well he would hit 18-20 runs in the last over and reduce the loss, but I didn’t think he would win the match if he hit five sixes in a row. However, when Rinku hit two sixes in the first two balls, I was convinced that this boy has now gained confidence and can hit three sixes in the last three balls. But no one was quite sure at this point, but it definitely seemed like the game could end from here. When Rinku hit the fourth six, I was 100% sure he would win the match by hitting the last ball for a six.
How does Rinku manage to hit sixes easily? What do you pay attention to as a coach?
Look… hitting sixes is a passion. Just as hitting sixes was a passion for Yuvraj Singh, so Rinku Singh knows how to hit sixes. Rinku can hit sixes very easily and he proved it with that.
What are Rinku Singh’s expectations on Ireland tour?
Fasahat Ali: When you play in Ireland or England it’s not easy to score runs because there’s a lot of momentum and movement on the pitch. So I think it won’t be easy for Rinku to get runs on Irish courses. Especially against fast bowlers… Also the wickets and conditions of these countries are very different from India’s. But with the kind of Indian wicket Rinku has played on, it won’t be easy for him to score runs on Ireland’s pitches. I’m not saying he can’t make runs in Ireland, but I know how difficult it is to make runs.
So how can Rinku score runs on Irish pitches?
First of all, you have to keep a cool head. After that, depending on the conditions there, it needs to be formed quickly. If Rinku does this, he can score runs. I think it’s good that his shot didn’t land in the first game (laughs). I agree that he can make runs if he adapts to the situation… but it takes a lot of focus. I hope he can.
Will Team India win gold at the Asian Games and what are the expectations for Rinku?
Team India will definitely win the gold medal at the Asian Games. I think that the Indian senior team is far better than other teams’ senior teams. At the Asian Games we have to fight against teams like Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but I think if the main team also plays Pakistan and Sri Lanka, we will be the strongest contender. Apart from that, the Asian Games are supposed to take place on the Indian subcontinent, the playing fields there are like in India. So I’m sure Rinku will score runs. Rinku will have no trouble hitting on these pitches.