- Shamser Khalid
KKR Stars Praise Rinku Singh's Impact
The Kolkata Knight Riders' IPL 2023 campaign has been one of transformation and surprise, with the emergence of Rinku Singh as a key player for the team. Previously overshadowed by the big-hitting West Indian Andre Russell, Rinku has come into his own this season, earning the respect and admiration of fans and teammates alike.
In Monday's match against Punjab Kings, Rinku and Russell played a crucial role in securing victory for the Knight Riders. While Jason Roy and Nitish Rana set the tone for the innings, it was Russell and Rinku who finished off the chase with their blistering knocks. Russell, who has been a proven match-winner for KKR over the years, admitted that Rinku has been taking the pressure off him in the latter stages of the game.
After the match, skipper Nitish Rana praised Rinku for his contribution to the team's success. "I just keep telling him, believe in yourself because what you have achieved is something not many people ever will," Rana said.
"When he was batting, the whole crowd was chanting 'Rinku, Rinku'. That is what he has earned this year. I've been at this franchise for many years now, I'm used to the Eden crowd screaming 'Russell, Russell' but to hear them shout 'Rinku, Rinku' makes me feel very happy and proud. That's the respect he has earned this season."
For Rinku, the experience of playing for KKR has been a dream come true.
"I have always looked up to Andre Russell as a role model," he said. "To be playing alongside him and contributing to the team's success is an incredible feeling. I just try to stay focused on my game and do whatever the team needs me to do."
Rinku's rise to prominence has not been an overnight success, however. The 25-year-old from Uttar Pradesh has been part of the KKR squad since 2018, but had struggled to make an impact in his previous seasons with the team. It was only this year that he finally got his chance to shine, and he has made the most of it with a series of impressive performances with both bat and ball.
Off the field, Rinku is known for his fun-loving personality and sense of humor. He has formed a close bond with Russell, who he describes as a "brother".
"We have a lot of fun together during training and off the field," Rinku said. "He's always giving me tips and advice on my game, and I'm learning a lot from him."
As the IPL 2023 season enters its final stages, KKR will be hoping that Rinku can continue his impressive form and help them secure a spot in the playoffs. With the backing of his teammates and the support of the Kolkata crowd, there is no doubt that Rinku has the talent and determination to take his game to the next level and become a star player for years to come.