'Average close to 50 even in Ranji...selectors have seen something': Nehra | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Average close to 50 even in Ranji...selectors have seen something': Nehra justifies India star's selection for SA ODIs

Dec 02, 2023 06:12 PM IST

Ashish Nehra lauded a Team India star's selection for the upcoming ODIs vs South Africa, and also pointed out his domestic cricket form.

India bagged a series-clinching victory in their fourth T20I against Australia on Friday, and now lead 3-1 in the ongoing five-match series. Chasing 175, the Aussies were restricted to 154/7 in 20 overs, courtesy of a three-wicket haul by Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar scalped two dismissals. Meanwhile, visiting captain Matthew Wade top-scored for his side in Raipur, registering an unbeaten knock of 36* off 23 balls.

Ashish Nehra justified the selection of a Team India star.(Hindustan Times)
Ashish Nehra justified the selection of a Team India star.(Hindustan Times)

Initially, India posted 174/9 in 20 overs, courtesy of a bright start from their opening pair Yashasvi Jaiswal (37) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (32). But after their departure, Shreyas Iyer (8) and skipper Suryakumar Yadav (1) were dismissed cheaply. Then the pressure fell on Rinku Singh and wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma.

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Known for his power-hitting skills, Rinku set up a brilliant partnership with Jitesh and the pair were crucial as India reached 174/9. Rinku hammered 46 off 29 balls and Jitesh clattered 35 off 19 deliveries. Meanwhile, Axar (0), Chahar (0), Ravi Bishnoi (4) and Avesh Khan (1) failed to add any runs.

Lauding Rinku's contribution, former India cricketer Ashish Nehra pointed out that he batted for a longer period than usual and came in a totally different situation. "The most important thing was that he came in the ninth or tenth over today, he didn't come in the 17th or 18th over. We have seen him many times after the 16th over or so but the sort of knock he played was praiseworthy and the team needed that. There was a time when it seemed they (India) could reach 190 as well but if you had lost Rinku Singh's wicket at that stage, you might have been stopped at 160," he said, while speaking on Jio Cinema.

He has also been selected for India's ODI squad for the South Africa tour. Also pointing out Rinku's domestic form, Nehra further added, "Don't forget Rinku Singh has an average close to 50 even in the Ranji Trophy. He has been picked in the 50-over team as well, so the selectors would have seen something. It is a massive plus for the Indian team that you have selected him in the 50-over format and he got to bat early today and showed everyone that he can deliver in such a scenario as well."

Both sides will once again take on each other on December 3, in Bengaluru for the final T20I. With pride at stake, Australia will be looking for a consolation win and India will aim to add another to their kitty.

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