Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has said that Rinku Singh is the new X-factor for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and that Andre Russell’s era is over. Harbhajan, who had spent time with Rinku in the KKR dressing room during the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), backed the uncapped Indian and stated that he should make his national team debut soon.
Rinku Singh has been one of the positives for KKR in IPL 2023, fulfilling the finisher’s role with determination for the two-time champions. The southpaw from Aligarh scored 474 runs from 14 matches in IPL 2023 at a strike rate of 149.52 and an average of 59.52. His best performance was an unbeaten 67 off just 33 balls in their last league game against Lucknow Super Giants. KKR lost the game by just one run.
Harbhajan believes that Rinku can do justice to his role even if he is sent up to bat. He said, “He is a player of different calibre and we will soon see an India cap on his head.” Former India head coach Ravi Shastri also spoke highly of Rinku, saying, “His temperament is very strong and gets very comfortable in tough situations. He’s a battle-hardened player.”
Rinku’s five sixes in the last over against Yash Dayal of Gujarat Titans remains the highlight of his small career so far. Fans have also been praising Rinku on social media and many believe that he should be included in the national team.