IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana says he loves playing under pressure

"It was an important game for us since we had lost the last two. My performance is better under pressure. I love playing under pressure," Rana said at the post-match conference

PTI, April 17, 2018

Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana, who bagged the Man of the Match award in their 71-run win over Delhi Daredevils Monday night, said he relishes the challenge of playing under pressure.

"It was an important game for us since we had lost the last two. My performance is better under pressure. I love playing under pressure," Rana said at the post-match conference.

Rana held the KKR innings together with a 35-ball 59, a knock that embodied poise and panache in equal measure as his team posted a tall 200/9 before bundling out Delhi for 129 with more than five overs to spare.

Kolkata: KKR batsman Nitish Rana acknowledging crowds after complete his half century during IPL Match against DD at eden garden in Kolkata on Monday . PTI Photo by Swapan Mahapatra(PTI4_16_2018_000186B)

Kolkata: KKR batsman Nitish Rana acknowledging crowds after completing his half-century. PTI

KKR returned to winning ways after two successive defeats against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings. This was their second victory in four matches and the former Mumbai Indians batsman played a crucial role.

Asked about his innings the 24-year-old played down his role and said it was a team effort as everyone fulfilled their responsibilities.

"I don't think I played such a huge role, everyone's been assigned a certain responsibility, I just had to fulfil that, so did the others," a modest Rana said.

Although Delhi lost three wickets inside as many overs, Glenn Maxwell (47) and Rishabh Pant (43) kept the Daredevils in the hunt with a fifty plus partnership before Kuldeep Yadav (3/32) triggered the collapse and Sunil Narine (3/18) wrapping the proceedings.

"Everyone has made a contribution in today's game. Take for example, Kuldeep's two wickets — Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell. Those wickets were very important at that point of time," he said.

However, Rana's knock was overshadowed by big-hitting Jamaican Andre Russell's blistering 12-ball 41, studded with six sixes.

Crediting Russell for being the game-changer, DD bowling coach Sridharan Sriram felt his team leaked runs and a score of 170-180 would have been a "par score".

"The way they got 200 was a bit too much on this wicket. I think 170-180 was a par score. That Russell blitz in the middle took the game away," Sriram said.

"His innings overshadowed what Nitish Rana did. Had Russell got out earlier, we would have still got them under 160. Rana wasn't going to be that dangerous compared to what Russell did," he added.

Sriram rued the drop catch of Russell, off the bowling of Mohammed Shami when he was on seven.

As it turned out Shami bore the brunt of the dropped catch as Russell smashed all his six sixes against the India speedster.

Backing Shami fully, Sriram said, "He started well, his first couple of overs were very good. It would have been a completely different day for him if the catch was taken. He lost the plot for about 6-7 balls and that's enough for you to have a bad game.

Updated Date: Apr 17, 2018





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 3182 91
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6470 127
2 India 5819 121
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3504 103
6 Australia 3699 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3972 132
2 India 4601 124
3 Australia 2570 122
4 England 2448 117
5 New Zealand 2542 116
6 South Africa 2058 114