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'Leading contender for T20 World Cup spot': Ashish Nehra backs rising Indian youngster

"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's fighting for has many challengers," Ashish Nehra said ahead of India's 5th T20I game against Australia on Sunday.

Sumeet Kavthale Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Published on: December 03, 2023 16:21 IST
Tilak Varma and Rinku Singh during T20I series against
Image Source : PTI AND GETTY Tilak Varma and Rinku Singh during T20I series against Australia

The Indian cricket team is looking at a swift transition in its T20I side in the ongoing home series against Australia. A much-changed India secured the five-match series under the new leadership of Suryakumar Yadav and will target to finish high in the fifth and last game on Sunday.

Senior figures Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah were rested after their sensational World Cup 2023 campaign. But it didn't affect a new-look young Indian side which dominated Australia in the ongoing series to kick off the preparation for the T20 World Cup 2024.

Suryakumar has been struggling for consistency across formats but emerging Rinku Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad proved their readiness for the next year's World Cup. The trio has been excellent throughout the series with each donning a different role and responsibility. 

But it has been Rinku Singh who has caught the eyes of many, including the former Indian veteran Ashis Nehra. Rinku has scored 99 runs in just three innings and maintains a strike rate of 190.38. His ability to finish the games ensures him a bright future in white-ball cricket. 

The 26-year-old left-handed batter is also part of India's T20I and ODI team for the next assignment against South Africa which suggests the management's backing for the player. Nehra also talked about Rinku's chances of making a potential squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 but added that it's a long way for the KKR youngster. 

"There is no doubt that Rinku Singh is a contender for inclusion in India's T20 World Cup squad," Nehra told JioCinema. "But the World Cup is still far away and the spot he's fighting for has many challengers. You can look at Jitesh Sharma (wicketkeeper-batter) and Tilak Varma. We'll 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 (Rinku) has opened everyone's eyes and put everyone under pressure. But there's still a lot of time to go. The trip to South Africa is coming up followed by the IPL."

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