Bengaluru, Aug 5 (PTI): Abhishek Nayar has seen both Shubman Gill and Rinku Singh from close quarters as the assistant coach at the Kolkata Knight Riders, and the former Mumbai stalwart has little doubt that the duo will be at the forefront of the team’s journey through the transition.
Gill has already given a glimpse of his immense potential at the international level, while Rinku will get his turn during India’s tour to Ireland for three T20Is later this month.
“I have absolutely no doubt about their tremendous potential. With the amount of competition in cricket these days, it is not easy to get opportunities and they need to maximise the chances that come their way. Yes, it’s all about that mental push,” Nayar told PTI here on Saturday.
Gill has not fired in the desired manner during the on-going series against West Indies, often getting dismissed by the spinners.
In fact, Gill got out to spinners four times in six innings during this series.
So, is there a worrying pattern getting developed, considering the ICC World Cup 2023 will be played on Indian pitches that are conducive to spin bowling?
“I am not worried about Shubman as he has got a strong base and culture. It’s tough for a young cricketer to play so much cricket and be that consistent. You need to cut him some slack and say that he’s going to fail.”
“He’s playing in the West Indies, not the easiest of conditions for batting…low scoring games. This experience is going to make him better. I think he’s going to have a terrific World Cup,” said Nayar.
Nayar said the selectors should give Rinku a long rope keeping in mind his prowess to take bowlers apart while coming in at No 6.
“There’s a possibility that he may take a little more time (to adapt to international cricket), you know, because of his upbringing. But he is a terrific player. Anyone who averages 60 in First-Class cricket, 50 in List A and 30 in T20 is a terrific player,” he said.
The former Mumbai all-rounder said talents such as Rinku come very rarely in Indian cricket.
At number six, right now in Indian cricket, there are very few players, especially left-handers, who can do what he’s doing. He does it consistently.
“So, I would love to have a long rope for him and, hopefully, the selectors will keep faith in him. Rinku is also someone who will add so much value to the team with his overall attitude,” said Nayar.
Nayar opined that Venkatesh Iyer too could play a very important role for India in the coming days, saying that he could be the supportive all-rounder for Hardik Pandya.
“Unfortunately, he suffered an injury last year. In terms of the future, he is a very versatile player. You’ve seen him bat up the order, down the order and he can give you some overs as well.
“He’s someone who can adapt very quickly because of the amount of intelligence and smartness he possesses,” concluded Nayar.
Venkatesh Iyer has been included as a standby player in the Indian squad for the Asian Games, and Nayar believed that will give the left-hander a boost of confidence.
“It’s all about feeling part of that team environment. I feel he is on an upward curve as a cricketer. He’s at that phase where, you know, needs to just keep going and just keep believing in his art all over again,” said Nayar.
Brendon McCullum has changed the cricketing landscape, guiding England the ‘Bazball’ way.
Nayar has first-hand experience in sharing the space with the Kiwi when he was the KKR head coach.
“I really enjoyed working with him, and even his human touch to coaching. I wouldn’t say I learned that. But I enjoyed that a lot with Baz.
“I think we had an interesting relationship to start off with, and I think where we ended was terrific for me, because we ended up being in a place where we could talk about our own problems with each other.”
“So, for me, the learning curve was the human touch that Baz brings to the table, and also his ability to stay calm under pressure,” he added.