Legends Label Rinku Singh a Scapegoat, Slam T20 World Cup Selection

Rinku Singh has been named as one of the four reserve players. (Source: X.com)

After months and months of testing, Team India finally selected the 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The selectors have opted for a healthy mix of tried-and-tested players on one hand and a few promising youngsters on the other.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli opted out of T20Is following India’s semi-final defeat against England in 2022, until the Afghanistan series at home earlier this year. With these two modern-day legends focusing on the ODI World Cup and the World Test Championship, India groomed a group of young talents, who showcased their skills in the 2023 IPL season under the leadership of Hardik Pandya. Throughout 2023, India witnessed the rise of players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, and Jitesh Sharma, posing a challenge for selectors and team management in selecting players for every game and series. 

However, as the T20 World Cup approached, Rohit and Kohli made themselves available for selection, and they will now represent India in another global tournament.

As expected, there were a few notable exclusions, but the selectors avoided any surprise picks.

Rohit and Kohli will play alongside Jaiswal, the young opener. In the middle order, the selections of Suryakumar Yadav, Pandya, and the returning Rishabh Pant were expected, while Sanju Samson was chosen as the backup wicketkeeper. However, the omission of proven finisher Rinku Singh from the squad raised eyebrows. 

Despite his outstanding T20I record, Rinku’s limited opportunities with the bat this season have led to his exclusion from the main squad, although he will be traveling as a reserve player.

The decision to overlook Rinku has divided opinions, with some questioning the selectors’ choice, while others, like Sunil Gavaskar, suggested it may be due to his recent poor form.

“I am not at all happy,” ex-chief selector Kris Srikkanth said on his YouTube channel. “C’mon all of you. Rinku Singh has been spoken about all over the world. He has performed in each and every opportunity he has got. How can you drop Rinku Singh? You drop anyone else, it doesn’t matter. In my view, Rinku Singh should have been there, even if that meant you had to drop Yashasvi Jaiswal. He has given his all whenever he played for India. This is rubbish, rubbish selection. Why do you need 4 spinners? All of them have to go? You have made the selection to please a few people and you have made Rinku Singh a scapegoat.” 

“If you’re talking about surprises, I think Rinku Singh has done enough in international cricket,” said Ian Bishop on Star Sports. “He averages well over 60 or 70 in T20Is to hold a place in the 15. So, that’s the only thing that had my ears sticking up. So, I’m only saying that the extra spinner, someone like Axar (Patel), has been preferred to Rinku.” 

“Maybe his form in this particular edition of the IPL hasn’t been great,” Gavaskar told Sports Today. “He hasn’t had that many opportunities, maybe that’s the reason why they’ve (selectors) not picked him.”

“I was surprised by the four spinners,” said Aaron Finch on Star Sports. “I had Rinku in there and only two spinners.”

“Rinku’s recent past performance for Team India shouldn’t have been ignored,” said Irfan Pathan on the same platform.