A packed stadium erupted in joy, followed by the no-ball siren going off. Abbott had overstepped, which meant the game was over then and the six would not count. Rinku came to know about it only when he went inside the dressing room and Arshdeep Singh told him. It didn’t bother him, though. Winning the game for his side with an unbeaten 22 off 14 balls, he had proved his mettle irrespective.
If Rinku indeed reminded Suryakumar of Dhoni, it’s not a coincidence, because he has been following Dhoni’s advice. “I asked Mahi bhai once what he thinks when batting in the last few overs,” Rinku said on the BCCI website after the first T20I. “He said the more you stay calm, the more you try to hit straight, the better it will be. So I follow that now. I try to stay calm, try not to show any reaction, and that has helped me.”
Being an ODI World Cup year, India’s focus until this series was on 50-over cricket. For T20Is, they rested some of their first-choice players regularly. That, in turn, opened up opportunities for some of the fringe players. Rinku is one of them and has probably made the best use of those chances despite batting in the most difficult position in T20 cricket.
With Hardik assuming more of an anchor’s role lately, India are searching for their next finisher for the T20 World Cup in June. At the moment, Rinku is the frontrunner.
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