Rinku, a left-handed batsman, hit fours and two sixes to Lucknow Super Giants fast bowler Marcus Stoinis in Kolkata’s attempt to chase 210 in Mumbai.
But he was caught by Evin Lewis on the final ball as Kolkata were knocked out of the tournament in their final league match of the season.
McCullum, the former New Zealand captain who is set to join England as coach before the three-Test series against the Kiwis in June, wished Rinku and Kolkata all the best for their future in the Twenty20 tournament.
“Rinku is a player who KKR Will invest in the next few years, no doubt and it will really see progress and maybe even challenge for high honors in time, “McCullum told reporters after Kolkata’s two-run defeat.
“A lot of people aren’t able to bat in the middle order and are able to get the game out of the fire like he did on two occasions for us.”
He added: “I am moving in a different direction with the challenge of being able to coach England against me. But I will follow all the KKR boys and Rinku in particular. I really wish him well.”
Heart of KKR | Rinku Singh’s Inspirational Story | KKR IPL 2022
McCullum coached two-time champions Kolkata for a runners-up spot in the previous IPL edition which started in India but ended in the UAE due to a coronavirus epidemic.
Led by India’s Shreyas Iyer, Kolkata finished the season with eight defeats and six wins in 14 matches, but McCullum said the team would return stronger in the next edition.
“I’ve had a great time over the last few years, we haven’t done it this year but I think we played some great Cricket. Last year was a wonderful story, “McCullum said.
Take a bow, @ rinkusingh235 🙌 # AmiKKR #KKRvLSG # IPL2022 https://t.co/9l7yMltyfB
– Kolkata Knight Riders (KKKRiders) 1652901175000
“I will follow this team forward and I know they are in really good hands with Shreyas (Iyer) and all the support staff as captain. Beware for KKR next year.”
McCullum scored an unbeaten 158 off 73 balls for Kolkata in the first match of the IPL in 2008.
The 40-year-old, known for his aggressive approach during his 101-Test career ending in 2016, was named last week as the new head coach of the England team that has won just one of his last 17 Tests.