Nitish Rana played some sublime innings in the three IPL seasons he took part. The Delhi born cricketer made his Indian Premier League debut in 2016 for Mumbai Indians and played in only 4 matches in that season which includes a 70. In 2017, Nitish Rana featured in 13 games for MI and played few aggressive innings in early stages of the tournament and ended with 333 runs at an average 30.27 with three fifties to his name.
After his impressive outings with MI, last year Rana was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 IPL edition. For KKR also, he replicated the same kind of performances he did for Mumbai. In 15 games played for KKR, Rana scored 304 runs at an average of 23.38 with 59 being his highest. If we look at Rana’s performances in 2017 & 18, he started off well with some eye catchy innings but went onto lose the form with the bat as the tournament progresses.
In IPL 2019, Nitish Rana scored 131 runs at a strike-rate of 161.72 and had two 50’s in as many games.
In IPL 2019 also, he started on a great note with two back to back fifties in two different scenarios. First when Sunil Narine got injured while bowling in KKR’s season opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad, it was Rana who stepped up to open the innings and scored a sublime knock of 68 runs off just 47 balls and laid a good platform for the remaining batsmen to chase a mammoth 181 target against a good SRH bowling unit. In KKR’s second match against Kings XI Punjab, he went back to his usual no.4 position as Narine opened the innings. Again in a different situation, he scored a quick-fire 34 ball 63 and helped KKR to post a huge total on the board. But his innings went to wilderness courtesy Dre Russell’s pyrotechnics.
In last two seasons I started well but my form fizzled out towards the later half of the tournament. 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.” – Nitish Rana at post match press conference after KKR’s win against KXIP.
As seen in last couple of editions of the Indian Premier League, Nitish Rana again had a brilliant start to his IPL 2019 campaign. But will he continue his form until the end of the tournament which he failed to do so in the last two editions. Rana himself admitted about this issue in the post match press conference when asked whether he is satisfied with his start. He went on to said “I want to continue the kind of form I have started in till the end of the tournament.
Before the start of season, KKR’s batting looked a bit fragile, but Rana’s thunderous knocks suddenly changed the dimensions of the Knight Riders batting unit. If Rana continues to emulate his batting displays, then KKR can afford a formidable batting line-up to challenge the remaining teams in the latter stages of the tournament.