Not Rohit or Kohli! Nitish Rana reveals the India star who stood by him after his disastrous debut series

Published - 23 Jun 2024, 08:55 PM | Updated - 23 Jun 2024, 08:57 PM

Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana (Credits: X)

Out-of-favour India batsman Nitish Rana has opened up on his tough maiden series in international cricket. After impressing in domestic cricket and in IPL, the Kolkata Knight Riders finally earned his maiden call-up from the Indian team for the tour of Sri Lanka in 2021.

However, the left-handed batsman had a forgettable debut series in international cricket as he failed to get going in all the three games that he played. Nitish Rana played two T20Is and one ODI on the tour and could not even reach the double-digit mark in any of the three games. In the two T20Is, he scored 9 and 6 while in the only that he played, he scored 7.

He was soon dropped from the team and is yet to earn a recall. The southpaw has managed to perform well in the IPL but has not really managed to impress the selectors. In fact, he is not even considered for selection as he has not been able to find a place in the second-string sides either.

Nitish Rana opens up on the Sri Lanka tour:

Nitish Rana recently recalled the tour of Sri Lanka in an interview with podcaster Ranveer Allahbadia. The KKR star revealed that he was struggling mentally after the disastrous beginning to his international career and the only player who stood by him during that tough time was none other than Rishabh Pant.

Rana revealed that Pant had called him after the series and that the very phone call changed his life. He recalled how Pant managed to help him overcome the tough phase by reminding him that he had managed to realize his dream of donning the Indian jersey. Rana also said that he had started doubting himself but managed to overcome that phase after the conversation with Pant.

"I was selected for the tour of Sri Lanka. It was a pretty bad series for me. There was only one guy (Rishabh Pant) in the cricket circle who called me after that. We talked for 18 minutes. That phone call changed my life. When you reach where you wanted to reach, and then you fail, that feeling is different. No one wants to fail," said Nitish Rana.

"I never expected that to happen. I told myself that it would've been better if I hadn't been selected at all.

"Rishabh told me, 'it was your dream to wear this jersey since you picked up the bat for the first time. And you did that. You know what you did, but from here, how you see your life is up to you. You can either fall down or work and get up again. I won't tell you that, nor I will speak about this again'.

"When you fail, you start to doubt your talent and calibre. It happens with me. I was doubting myself a lot. I started to feel, did I not deserve this at all? But Rishabh helped me clear my doubts. We don't talk about cricket, but whenever we do, it is about picking the other up. And that's called friendship," he added.

Talking about Pant, the wicketkeeper-batsman himself had a very tough phase last year after the car accident that sidelined him for more than a year. He missed the ODI World Cup at home and finally returned to action in this year's IPL. At present, he is with the Indian team for the ongoing T20 World Cup.

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Nitish Rana Rishabh Pant India National Cricket Team IPL Kolkata Knight Riders