GT vs KKR: "Didn’t even touch the bat" - Nitish Rana recalls struggles before making a comeback in IPL 2024

Updated - 12 May 2024, 12:23 PM

Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana (Image Credits: Twitter)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batter Nitish Rana opened up about his struggles before making his comeback in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 against the Mumbai Indians (MI). Nitish Rana admitted that he couldn’t sleep the whole night due to anxiety before the recent match in the IPL 2024.

The Kolkata Knight Riders recorded an 18-run victory against the Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens on Saturday, May 11. Following the victory, the Shreyas Iyer-led team became the first team to qualify for the playoffs. The KKR team is currently at the top of the table, with 18 points in 12 matches.

Nitish Rana scored a crucial knock of 33 runs off 23 balls, including four boundaries and one six. The left-handed batter helped the Kolkata team recover from a challenging start at 40/3 after 4.1 overs. The home team managed to post a competitive total of 157 runs in the rain-curtailed encounter.

Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy played a crucial role in defending the target. Chakravarthy conceded 17 runs in his four overs and picked up two crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya. Sunil Narine took one wicket for 21 runs, while Harshit Rana and Andre Russell secured two wickets each.

I Didn't Even Touch The Bat Due To Injury - Nitish Rana

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Nitish Rana stated that he felt his comeback was similar to playing his IPL debut match. The middle-order batter mentioned that he couldn't even touch the bat for nearly three weeks during his injury layoff.

"For the first 20-22 days I didn’t even touch the bat due to injury. After that, I began batting with one hand and did whatever I could. When I was sitting alone, I would visualize my innings. To be honest, I couldn’t sleep the whole night, it felt as if I was going to play the first game of the IPL because I was suddenly included in the team after 10 great games."

"Hence, I slept at around 8:30 am as I couldn’t sleep all night due to anxiety. These are the things which keep that hunger inside of you alive," said Rana.

Nitish Rana sustained a finger injury during KKR's season opener against SunRisers Hyderabad. The 30-year-old batter missed the next ten matches due to an injury. It's worth mentioning that the Delhi-born cricketer had captained the side in the previous season in the absence of Shreyas Iyer.

There's A Trust In The Dressing Room - Nitish Rana

Nitish Rana highlighted the belief among players in KKR compared to previous seasons. The KKR batter attributed the change in the KKR dressing room to Chandrakant Pandit and Gautam Gambhir.

“The difference this year as compared to the previous four or five years is according to me the belief that we have in each other. There’s a trust in the dressing room where every player takes the onus on oneself if someone fails."

"The same set of bowlers let the opposition chase down 260 and we had the same attack today. So, it’s the belief to instill confidence in each other is a lot more than previous years and it’s all because of Chandu Sir (Chandrakant Pandit) and Gauti Bhaiya (Gautam Gambhir),” he added.

KKR failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2022 and 2023 after reaching the final in 2021. Nonetheless, they secured the first playoff spot in IPL 2024 after defeating MI. They last secured the IPL trophy under Gautam Gambhir in the 2014 edition.

Also read: MI vs LSG: Rohit Sharma ripped apart by Virender Sehwag after a lackluster show in IPL 2024