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T20 World Cup: 'Exclusion of Rinku was the toughest call'

Source: PTI
May 02, 2024 19:46 IST
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Rinku Singh

Photograph: Kind Courtesy KKR/X

Chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar on Thursday described the omission of Rinku Singh from India's T20 World Cup squad as the "toughest" call, saying the in-from swashbuckler has "done nothing wrong" and it all came down to combinations.

Rinku, Kolkata Knight Riders' big-hitting finisher from Aligarh, could not find a place in the 15-member squad as the think-tank preferred Chennai Super Kings' Shivam Dube over him.

The exclusion of Rinku, who has scored 356 runs at an average of 89 and strike rate of 176.24 in T20Is for India, became a major talking point since the Indian team's announcement two days ago and has caused a massive furore on social media.


"It (not picking Rinku) is probably the toughest thing we have had to discuss. He has done nothing wrong, not even Shubman Gill for that matter. It is not his fault that he missed out. It's about combinations," Agarkar said during a press conference in Mumbai.

"A couple of wrist spinners were included to give Rohit (Sharma) more options. There are two keepers, we needed an extra bowler. It's just unfortunate. He's in the reserves, so that tells you how close he came into being in the 15. But at the end of the day, you can only pick 15 players in the squad," Agarkar added.

Rinku, who is not having a great IPL season as he is not getting to face enough balls, though made it to the list of reserves.

Rinku had been fast-tracked into the Indian T20I team after a fantastic run in the IPL last year but this season, he has managed just 123 runs in nine matches with a strike rate of 150.00.

Whereas Gill, captaining Gujarat Titans this time, has aggregated 320 runs from 10 matches at a strike rate of 140.97. The left-handed Yashasvi Jaiswal has been preferred over Gill.

Later on, after his press conference, Rohit joined the Mumbai Indians squad for their pre-match training ahead of the clash against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Rohit was involved in a group discussion which included Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer and KS Bharat and even Gautam Gambhir when he spotted Rinku coming towards him.

Rohit moved away from the group and spoke with Rinku for a while.

Meanwhile Abhishek Nayar, the head of KKR Academy and assistant coach of the franchise, did not feel Rinku was out of form and whatever runs he has scored this IPL season for KKR have been crucial for the team. 

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