The son of an LPG cylinder deliverer made headlines in 2018 when he became another IPL rags-to-riches story after being signed by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 80 lakh – four times his price of base.
But the fairy tale did not last long.
After making his mark in domestic cricket with his powerful strike, the southpaw failed to deliver on the biggest stage, and in four matches in his first season he averaged 7.25 with a rate strike rate of 93.54.
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In 2019, Rinku made just 37 runs in five matches and got just one game in 2020 before missing the Covid-hit 2021 season with a knee injury during the memorable Vijay Hazare campaign. UP’s 2020-21 Trophy, when they made the final for the first time in 16 years.
The UP cricketer went under the knife and then fought his way with some useful contributions in the National Tour earlier this year which resulted in him being bought out by his former franchise for Rs 55 lakh.
Rinku’s idol, Suresh Raina, a three-time IPL winner with the Chennai Super Kings and who he made his UP debut with, has seen the 24-year-old’s checkered career first-hand.
“‘Is baar achha karoonga mein’ (This time I’m going to make it). The hunger in him was evident watching him go through the training period,” Raina told PTI of Rinku’s latest ascent.
“He worked a lot on his fitness after his injury and made a good comeback. He scored a lot of points in domestic cricket and it shows in his form now,” Raina added.
Rinku had a chance in the current IPL in only their eighth match (against Gujarat Titans), after KKR suffered a hat-trick of defeats.
His best came against the Rajasthan Royals when he broke a 23 ball 42 not out and also caught two catches as KKR came back to victory after five trotting losses.
“He looks good, he’s a good defender and also balls (offspin). It was a crucial game for KKR (to keep their chances alive) and come in such a moment and bring the team back to the house says a lot about his character, state of mind. He has it in him,” Raina said.
Rinku’s greatest quality, according to Raina, is: “He’s a fearless cricketer – a great quality in T20 format.”
So does he have the courage to make the India team?
“I just want him to have fun, keep playing free, so it’s up to God. If he keeps playing like this, then you know he’s got what it takes to go all the way to the bout,” added the fifth-highest IPL run ever. getter.
Third among five siblings including a sister, Rinku has gone through many hardships since childhood.
Raised in a small two-room apartment in the storage compound of his father Khanchandra Singh’s LPG distribution company near Aligarh Stadium, Rinku almost became a sweeper to cope with their poverty.
But then the Class 9 dropout ran away to pursue his cricketing dream, and he hasn’t looked back since.
His cricketing journey began under coach Masood-uz-Zafar Amini who was impressed with his “natural shot-making ability”.
He made his UP Under-16 debut in 2012 and then made the cut for the U-19s when former cricketer Gyanendra Pandey was selector.
“I’ve known him since I was an under-19 manager. We picked him for the junior team and he didn’t disappoint. He’s a self-taught cricketer,” said Pandey, 49. , who played two ODIs for India.
But it was during their 2020-21 Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign, when Pandey was the coach, that Rinku showed his true hunger.
“He did an unbeaten 62 against Karnataka, I remember the hit vividly after seeing his dominating innings against the Royals on Monday,” Pandey said.
“Unfortunately he couldn’t play the knockout stage because his knee had to be operated on. But the way he came back with more determination now. I hope he goes all the way,” said concluded Pandey.
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