Having closely tracked the journey of a ‘shy’ young boy with ‘low self-confidence’ evolve into a promising player for India, Abhishek Nayar describes Rinku Singh’s story as one of hard work and perseverance.
The 25-year-old rose into national reckoning ever since he smacked five consecutive sixes to power Kolkata Knight Riders to a shocking win over Gujarat Titans in the IPL this year.
On Sunday, he showed he can replicate that at the highest level with a 21-ball 38 against Ireland in his maiden innings for India.
“I have seen Rinku evolve as an individual. The first time I saw him in the KKR set up and spent time with him when he came to Mumbai, he was very shy and a guy with very low self-belief,” KKR assistant coach Nayar recalled on Tuesday.
“Overall, Rinku Singh has been a tremendous story — a rags to riches sort of story — but with a lot of hard work and perseverance,” he replied to a PTI query during a chat organised by Jio Cinema.
“But one thing which has been a standout for Rinku is the fact that he is always has this ability to work hard, listen and learn — he has always been hungry to learn.”
Describing Rinku’s personality further, Nayar said, “He is an unbelievable guy to have in the dressing room and in general, he is happy, always smiling, and happy for others’ performances.
“He is someone with whom you can share your performances (with). He is always this happy-go-lucky kid and an absolute entertainer.”
Nayar said not many believed in Rinku after he suffered a knee injury. “Two years back, coming from his knee surgery, it just felt that a lot of people counted him out did not believe he could do what he is doing today,” he said.
“But kudos to KKR management and everyone involved in terms of backing him and a lot of credit goes to Rinku for working hard on his game and achieving what he is achieving today,” Nayar added.
Talking about his innings on Sunday, Nayar added: “For me, the No 5 position at which he batted in the last game is perfect. He can give himself time and go to play his big shots. He is indeed a finisher, but he is also a capable batter who can make runs.
“The perfect slot for him — which the Indian team also needs — is No 5. If he gets to bat around the 10th over, he can play the dual role of a finisher and a middle-order batter,” Nayar added.
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