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‘Couldn’t sleep last night, felt like I was going to play my first IPL game’ – Nitish Rana on injury comeback at Eden Gardens

'Couldn't sleep last night, felt like I was going to play my first IPL game' - Nitish Rana on injury comeback at Eden Gardens

Nitish Rana. (Source -IPL/BCCI)

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) carried on remarkable form at Eden Gardens, securing an 18-run victory over the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the ongoing IPL encounter on May 11. The Knight Riders also became the first team to qualify for the playoffs.

After missing 10 games due to an injury layoff, left-hand batter Nitish Rana was put back into the playing XI for KKR’s last home game of the season. His 33 runs off 23 balls proved pivotal in a rain-affected game which propelled KKR to 157/7, a total that ultimately proved too much for the Mumbai side, as the visitor’s innings ended on 139/8.

Talking about his comeback, he revealed that he was anxious upon his return after missing out on the major portion of the season. “Couldn’t sleep last night, felt like I was going to play my first IPL game, I was coming into a team that has been doing well, and coming back into such a big league match against MI and in what’s the last home game for your side,” Rana said at the post-match press conference as quoted by Cricbuzz.

“Plus it’s a reduced match. I slept around 8 am. I was so anxious, my heartbeat was fast, and I felt like I was going to play for the first time. But these are the things that keep you hungry and drive you to do better,” he continued.

Also read: I had meticulously planned Rohit Sharma’s dismissal: Varun Chakaravarthy

Couldn’t touch my bat for 20-22 days: Nitish Rana

Speaking about the time he was on the bench, “Couldn’t touch my bat for 20-22 days because of injury, then I started batting with one hand. Whatever I could do, I did. Whenever I was sitting alone, I was sitting and visualizing,” the left-hand batter said.

Yet, Rana channeled his nerves into a vital contribution, anchoring the KKR innings alongside the aggressive Venkatesh Iyer. His 37-run partnership with Iyer steadied the ship after an early wobble and set the platform for a defendable total in a 16-over game.

Also read: Hardik Pandya speaks about MI’s dismal season, analyses defeat vs KKR

The Delhi-born was quick to credit the team management’s faith in his abilities. “They showed immense belief in me by keeping me on the bench for 10 matches despite my injury. They perhaps knew I could make a positive impact later in the tournament. Luckily, my 33 runs were important on that stage because the ball was seaming and the wicket was helping the fast bowlers,” Rana concluded.

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