“There Will be Some Tears When I wear the India Jersey”: Rinku Singh

After years of struggle and toil, Rinku Singh has finally made it to the Indian team. On Friday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023, to be held from September 19 to October 8 at the Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field. Rinku is one of the new names in the Indian squad, which boasts a few names that have already made their mark for the senior men’s team in the shortest format of the game. The men’s cricket competition will be played from September 28 to October 8 in the T20 format.

After scintillating performances for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL and for Uttar Pradesh,  his state team, Rinku, the Aligarh-born left-hand batter, would be looking to impress the cricketing world after his maiden call-up to the national team.

In an exclusive interaction with RevSportz, Rinku talked about a range of things, starting from his heroics for KKR in IPL 2023, his experience of playing for Uttar Pradesh, chatter with MS Dhoni, the Team India dream and much more.

Here are the excerpts:

Now that you are in the squad…what will be the emotions once you wear that jersey?

Rinku Singh: Everyone dreams to play for India, wear that jersey. I don’t think a lot about the future because the more you think, the more burden you put yourself under. I take life as one day at a time. But yes, whoever takes up professional sports wants to represent their country one day or the other. I know for the fact that my family, my parents will be happier than me to see me wear the Indian jersey. They have been waiting for this for years now. They have seen my struggle, they have helped me, been with me through all my ups and downs. The day I don the jersey will be a day dedicated to them.

Will there be any tears?

Rinku Singh: I am a strong guy but a bit emotional as well. I am pretty sure there will be some tears when I wear the India jersey for the first time. It has been a long and a tough journey.


Are you over the IPL experience yet? It must have been surreal…

Rinku Singh: IPL was great. Those five weeks were unforgettable. I feel, whoever knows me today is because of those five weeks and I am grateful about it. But in my mind, those five weeks, the IPL I had, those are the things of the past, I have forgotten that. Now I am back to my daily process. The routine is back, the gym sessions, the net sessions – everything is back to normal. Whatever I am working on is for the future now. Hopefully, I will be able to do well whatever chances I get in the future.


You have batted for Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket in similar positions and situations. Did that help you in getting the best out of yourself in IPL?

Rinku Singh: Glad you asked me that. It actually helped me a lot. I have been batting in similar positions for Uttar Pradesh, and have batted in many situations when the top order hasn’t delivered their best. So those experiences helped me a lot in the IPL and to manoeuvre my game because I have actually batted in similar situations. I am not talking about net sessions or something, but real match situations. I have successfully helped my team to get out of troublesome situations in the past, and that helped me to understand what KKR needed in those similar tough situations. I am used to No. 5 or 6 now and I am confident of delivering the goods whenever I walk out at No. 5 or 6.


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Your photo with MS Dhoni went viral. What was the chat all about?

Rinku Singh: The chatter with Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) was really productive. He has also batted in similar numbers as I do – at 5 or 6 – and he has done it for the majority of his career, and knows the position in and out. I simply asked him how to better my game, and his advice was very simple: “Bohot sahi batting kar raha hai, jo tu kar raha hai, wahi karta reh (You are batting really well. Continue whatever you have done so far).”


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What is the biggest difference you feel when you speak to say a MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma than other cricketers?

Rinku Singh: The game is all about the mind. Whenever I get the opportunity to speak with such big players, be it a MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, I find a similar pattern – they focus on the mental aspect of the game. It’s all about the mindset. The clearer you are about your role, what you want to do out there, the easier it becomes to execute your plans, and that’s what I focus on. Also, the mindset of Mahi bhai, Virat bhai or Rohit bhai is way above and clearer to what a normal cricketer thinks. That’s what makes the difference at the higher level, I think.

Any former cricketer, who has helped you in this journey?

Rinku Singh: Suresh Raina has been my idol. I am regularly in touch with him. He is the IPL King and he keeps sharing his inputs with me. He has helped me a lot in my career. Bhajju pa (Harbhajan Singh) has also helped me a lot in my career. I am grateful for their support and whenever such big players talk about you, it motivates you to push yourself more.


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A post shared by Rinku (@rinkukumar12)


There was news that you have donated a certain amount of money to build training facilities and a hostel for underprivileged cricketers in Aligarh…talk to me about it.

Rinku Singh: I don’t want to speak a lot about it. But I feel no one should have the financial burden when chasing their dreams of becoming a cricketer. There are many parents who are reluctant because of their financial situations, and that’s why I took a step forward and did whatever I could to help those kids out. I know where I come from, so I try to do my bit to help the community out. ‘Ek na ek din toh upar jana hi hai sabko, paisa lekar kaha jaunga main (One day, everyone will have to leave. What will I do with all the money)? Hopefully, all the parents will push their kids to chase their dreams, because that is how they will get even more motivated to perform better in whatever field they are.

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