Rohit Sharma meets Rinku Singh right after T20 World Cup press conference, has one-on-one chat after KKR star’s snub

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By Mahtab Ahmad

Arguably the biggest talking point to emerge from the announcement of India’s squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup was the absence of Rinku Singh. On Thursday, captain Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar fielded questions from the media on the squad and seemed to struggle to come up with a convincing explanation for the relegation of a batter who has a strike rate of 176.23 in 11 T20I innings played in India, South Africa, Ireland and Hangzhou and displayed a range of abilities to the reserves.

Rohit had a brief chat with Rinku on Thursday (PTI)
Rohit had a brief chat with Rinku on Thursday (PTI)

Rohit could be seen on the field at the Wankhede Stadium after addressing the media where he met up with his Mumbai Indians teammates and players and staff from the Kolkata Knight Riders. MI host KKR in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday. He could be seen having a brief chat with Rinku while at the ground. Rohit also met up with his India teammate and KKR captain Shreyas Iyer and former India teammate Gautam Gambhir, who is team mentor for the Kolkata-based franchise.

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Here is a video of Rohit at the Wankhede:

Agarkar effectively said on Thursday that the only reason for Rinku to be dropped was the fact that there could only be 15 players in the squad. The think-tank seemed to have preferred Shivam Dube for the bowling option he adds apart from being a good finisher, which means that Rinku missed out because of the lack of a secondary skill despie his stellar numbers and performances over the past two years.

“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 here.

“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 has had a quiet IPL by his standards mainly because of KKR bringing him on almost exclusively in the last three overs of an innings unless they had no other choice. He has also often been substituted out of the squad when KKR fielded through the Impact Sub rule. It meant that he has managed just 123 runs in nine matches with a strike rate of 150.00

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