IPL 2021 – KKR vs MI: Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) opener Nitish Rana continued his brilliant run of form. After scoring 80 off just 56 balls, he followed that up with a fantastic 50 off 40 against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday. He shared a 72-run opening partnership with Shubman Gill before the latter fell in the ninth over for 33. With that he also became the Orange Cap leader, surpassing Rahasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson.
Rana has been in prime form in domestic cricket. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Delhi batsman scored 398 runs in seven matches including a century and two fifties.
The fact that he was doubtful for the first match and the whole tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 before he joined the KKR camp has made the achievement even better. Days before the IPL 2021 began, Nitish Rana recovered from COVID-19.
“I thought the ball was in my slot (first ball, off Bhuvneshwar) and luckily I got a four. My game plan is always that if the ball is in my slot I’ll try to hit it. I was backing myself and looking to hit balls. I’ve been playing spin since childhood, so in a way, it’s in my blood,” Nitish Rana said after the match against SRH.
“Since it was a fresh wicket, I decided that I would keenly observe what the ball does and how the pitch behaves. After that, whenever the ball was in my half, I felt I should go for my shots. My attempt was to attack whenever I got a loose ball,” Nitish explained.
KKR would be happy to get their star batsman back, especially after his recent red-hot form. The right-handed batsman, who took part in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy, is a vital cog in the KKR batting unit.
Despite being slightly inconsistent, he still managed to amass 352 runs in IPL 2020. Notably, he has racked up over 300 runs in each of the last four IPL seasons.
In the match, Kolkata Knight Riders are chasing 153 after Andre Russel’s first five-wicket haul in the IPL and Mumbai Indians restricted Rohit Sharma’s men to 152. Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill set the stage for the chase with 72 runs stand.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy