'From King to Finisher': Virat Kohli gifts a bat to Rinku Singh following RCB's loss to KKR

BENGALURU: Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and India star batter Virat Kohli gifted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and India's upcoming middle-order batter Rinku Singh a bat following his side's loss to two-time champions at their home arena of M Chinnnaswamy Stadium on Friday.

KKR also posted a picture of them on their official X handle, tweeting, "The bond we love to see! : @RCBTweets."

Following Virat's gesture, Rinku posted an Instagram story, thanking Virat for "advice" and the bat.

Virat is an all-time great of the game, having made 26,733 runs in 522 matches at an average of 54.11, with 80 centuries and 139 fifties. To many, he is the successor of the Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar. The 35-year-old also leads the IPL's all-time run-scoring list with 7,444 runs in 240 matches with seven centuries and 52 fifties. Though he has won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, and ICC Champions Trophy 2013 with Team India, his side is yet to lay its hands on an IPL trophy.

Rinku, on the other hand, is a domestic cricket star from Uttar Pradesh, who shot to fame last year by smashing Gujarat Titans' Yash Dayal for five successive sixes in the final over to complete a tense 200-plus run chase.

The 2023 IPL season was a breakthrough one for him, scoring 474 runs in 14 matches at an average of 59.25 and a strike rate of almost 150. He scored four half-centuries. In this season, he has played two matches and managed scores of 23 and 5* so far.

His IPL stats are: 753 runs in 33 matches at an average of 35.86 and a strike rate of 142.08, with four fifties. His best score is 67*. He signed with KKR in 2018 after spending time on the sidelines with Punjab Kings (PBKS) back in 2017.

Rinku has converted his brilliant IPL form into good outings for India, scoring 356 runs in 15 matches and 11 innings at an average of 89.00 and a strike rate of over 176, with two fifties. His best score is 69*. He has also scored 55 runs in two ODIs for India. With strong first-class numbers for UP, 3,173 runs in 47 matches at an average of 54.70, with seven tons and 20 fifties, Rinku could be India's next big all-format star after Virat and Rohit Sharma, alongside the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill.

After KKR won the toss, they opted to field. After losing skipper Faf early, Virat Kohli had a 65-run partnership with Cameron Green (33 in 21 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes) and a 42-run stand with Glenn Maxwell (28 in 19 balls, with three fours and a six). Virat scored 83* in 59 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes and took RCB to 182/6 along with Dinesh Karthik (20* in eight balls, with three sixes) in their 20 overs.

Andre Russell (2/29) and Harshit Rana (2/39) were the pick of the bowlers for KKR.

In the run chase, Phil Salt (30 in 20 balls, with two fours and two sixes) and Sunil Narine (47 in 22 balls, with two fours and five sixes) put KKR to a fine start with a quickfire 86-run stand in 39 balls. After Vyshak and Mayank Dagar (1/23 each) dismissed the openers, Venkatesh Iyer (50* in 30 balls, with three fours and four sixes) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (39 in 24 balls, with two fours and two sixes) guided KKR to a seven-wicket win with 19 balls to go.

Sunil won 'Player of the Match' on his 500th match for his knock of 47 and one wicket.

RCB is sixth in the points table with a win and two losses. They have just two points. KKR is at second with two wins in two games, with four points.


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