Following the back-to-back half-centuries in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) season 12, Kolkata Knight Riders’ in-form batsman Nitish Rana is eyeing to put up a consistent show. In the IPL 2019, the middle-order batsman Rana has helped his team in both games so far, by playing an aggressive brand of cricket.
The 25-year-old Delhi-born cricketer Rana has expressed concern by saying he wouldn’t want to let it go off his hands.
IPL 2019: Nitish Rana wants to continue with his momentum –
Out of seven maximums, Rana has belted Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) skipper Ravichandran Ashwin for four sixes. He added that he did his basics right while adding his aim was to set himself for the onslaught.
“I was just trying to build my innings. I was taking it ball by ball at the start and then when I thought I could charge, I did that,” Rana said during a presser in Mohali.
By reminiscing about the previous season, Rana adamant in approach maintained he don’t want to bubble it out too early.
“So, this time around, I want to work on this. I want to continue the kind of form I have started in till the end of the tournament,” Rana further said.
In the recently-held game at PCA stadium in Mohali, while batting at No.4 Rana slammed 63 off just 34 deliveries against hosts KXIP. In a high-scoring contest on Wednesday (March 27), Knight Riders’ batsmen post mammoth 218 for four in 20 overs.
Even though top-order batsman Robin Uthappa 67 (50) appeared to be a top-scorer, Rana provided the impetus alongside Andre Russell with their belligerent hitting.
“I haven’t thought too far ahead. But for the last couple of seasons, I start well but my form fizzles out towards the later half of the tournament,” Rana said.
Well, Punjab also played quality cricket but they fell short of 219-run target by 28 runs. Thus, KXIP managed to score 190 off 20 overs by losing four wickets.
IPL 2019: Orange Cap and Nitish Rana’s reasonable show:
By this knock, Rana has overtaken Delhi Capitals’ (DC) wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant as the leading run-scorer. Pant has amassed 103 runs in two games, whereas, Rana dons the Orange Cap by accumulating 131 runs in two outings.
IPL 2019: Team effort benefit KKR –
While batting at two different positions, Rana is confident to make his contribution in a bid to gain more self-confidence.
“That’s the sign of a good team. My plan was clear – to hit a loose ball and then, let DK (Dinesh Karthik) or (Andre) Russell take over for the last four-five overs,” Rana maintained.
In KKR’s opener on March 24, Rana opened the batting alongside Chris Lynn to score 68 against Bhuvneshwar Kumar-led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
In the recently-completed Syed Mushtaq Ali Tweny20 tournament, Rana scored 147 in 10 games as he further had a barren run in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season for Delhi. He could amass just 191 runs in six matches.
But the way, he has shown character to make a solid comeback, is in itself a huge achievement for a youngster who has credited KKR staff and teammates.
Rana feels that he’s become much-improved batsman than before.
“I did not work on batting as such but I worked on the mental toughness. KKR Academy was quite helpful in that sense because I got one-on-one time with Abhishek bhaiya and DK bhaiya. They helped me clear self-doubts. Now, I feel, I’ve become a better player,” Rana added.
Rana has also acknowledged the fact that Russell has played a massive role in handing KKR a victory.
Meanwhile, the match-winning performances have robbed off Rana Man of the Match award. Well, on both occasions Russell has bagged the award for tonking KXIP bowlers in their own den.