IPL 2019: I Opened Only Because of Sunil Narine’s Injury – Nitish Rana
Kolkata Knight Riders talented batsman Nitish Rana has confirmed that he had opened the innings in the first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad because of Sunil Narine’s injury. Narine had suffered a blow to his finger while fielding in the second match of the season.
Meanwhile, Sunil Narine’s injury was a blessing in disguise for the Kolkata Knight Riders as Nitish Rana was able to grab his chance. Rana who was opening for the first time in T20 cricket scored a fine knock of 68 runs off just 47 balls with the help of eight fours and three sixes.
Rana had delivered the goods.
Consequently, the southpaw batsman was instrumental in getting his team close to the target of 184 runs. Rana’s knock was crucial as no other top-order batsman made a substantial score despite getting off to good starts. Rana who plays for Delhi in the domestic circuit said he was the only choice to open the innings as he was the sole left-handed batsman in the line-up.
“Honestly, for me winning is very important and as far as the finisher’s role is concerned, we have a big finisher in (Andre) Russell and DK (Dinesh Karthik) although he got out and was not there till the end. Somewhere in my mind, I thought to bat as long and as deep as possible since I knew they had two left-arm spinners and a leg-spinner whom I could attack. Since Sunil (Narine) injured his hand he was not going to bat, that means I was the only left-handed batsman left,” Rana was quoted as saying by the KKR official website.
Meanwhile, the southpaw batsman stated he was told in the mid-innings break that he was going to open, which was like a bolt from the blue for him.
Rana was not aware that he will open.
“I never knew I was going to open the innings although I have opened in the practice games which we played before the season starts. But it was only because of his (Narine’s) injury that I had to open,” he said about opening the batting for KKR.
On the other hand, Andre Russell was able to turn the match on its head with the help of pyrotechnics. Russell blasted 49 off just 19 balls and it was a treat to the eyes for Nitish Rana.
Russell was at his best.
“I just cannot describe it in words. It was just unbelievable batting and the kind of sixes he hit were just insane. We needed almost 52 in 18 and we still won with two balls to spare. We know he is capable of doing it and has done it before several times. That was our game plan – to take the game deep and then leave the rest on Russell to finish it,” Rana said about Russell’s power-hitting.
Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders will play their second match of the season against Kings XI Punjab at their home venue of Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
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