Ahead of the fifth and final T20I between India and Australia, former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra said that while there is no doubt that the rising left-handed batter Rinku Singh has established himself as a contender for a spot in ICC T20 World Cup 2024 squad, he is still going to fight many challengers though he has put everyone under pressure.
The fifth and final T20I between India and Australia will take place on Sunday. India has won this series 3-1 under the captaincy of number one ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav and the ‘finisher’ Rinku has been one of the biggest positives for India in the series.
On JioCinema’s India vs Australia – 5th T20I preview show, expert Ashish Nehra spoke of Rinku Singh’s chances of breaking into the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup and the reasons why India’s pace bowlers have given away so many runs. Excerpts: “There is no doubt that Rinku Singh is a contender for inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad. But the World Cup is still far away and the spot he is fighting for has many challengers. You can look at Jitesh Sharma (the wicketkeeper batsman) and Tilak Varma. We will have to discuss the positions where Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya will play. So, we have to see how many spots are available in the 15-member squad. But one thing is sure, he has opened everyone’s eyes and put everyone under pressure. But there is still a lot of time to go. The trip to South Africa is coming up followed by the IPL,” said Nehra.
In nine T20Is so far in five innings, Rinku has scored 174 runs at an average of 87.00 and a strike rate of over 197, with the best score of 46. He has been impressive with his hitting, smashing 16 fours and 11 sixes across 88 balls faced so far. He has scored 130 runs through fours and sixes itself.
Coming to the bowling side of things, Nehra said that during the series so far, bowlers from both sides have leaked a lot of runs. In this situation, pacer Mukesh Kumar has been a big positive for India with his pin-point yorkers, especially in death overs.
“The conditions for the first three matches were different and a lot of the bowlers have changed. Your experienced bowlers like Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have been rested. If you speak of Avesh Khan and Mukesh Kumar, they have just been introduced to international cricket,” said Nehra.
“And then we saw over 200 runs being scored in the first three matches. So, it is not that only the Indian bowlers leaked runs, even Australia’s bowlers have given away a lot of runs. In these circumstances, Mukesh Kumar has been a big positive for India. The way he has bowled with wet balls, his execution of yorkers and bowling in the death overs has been terrific,” he concluded.