IPL 2019: Nitish Rana says working on mental toughness with Abhishek Nayar and Dinesh Karthik helped him clear self doubts

Disturbed by his poor form, the top order KKR batsman spent some time at the Mumbai-based KKR Academy speaking to Abhishek Nayar and Dinesh Karthik.

Press Trust of India, Mar 28, 2019 12:50:42 IST

Consecutive fifties in different batting positions ought to be a confidence-builder but Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana says he is occupied by the concern of maintaining his form that usually "fizzles" out early in the IPL.

As a makeshift opener in the absence of Sunil Narine, Rana struck a fine 68 in KKR's first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.

Nitish Rana in action against KXIP. Sportzpics

Nitish Rana in action against KXIP. Sportzpics

Back at No 4 in their second match, Rana scored a 34-ball 63 against Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday to overtake Delhi Capitals' Rishabh Pant (103 runs in two matches) in the early Orange Cap race.

"I haven't thought too far ahead. But for the last couple of seasons, I start well but my form fizzles out towards the latter half of the tournament," Rana said after KKR's 28-run win here on Wednesday night.

"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."

Rana did not have a good season with Delhi in the domestic circuit, managing just 147 runs form 10 matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 and 191 runs from six matches in the Ranji Trophy.

Disturbed by his poor form, the top order KKR batsman spent some time at the Mumbai-based KKR Academy speaking to Abhishek Nayar and Dinesh Karthik.

"I did not work on batting as such but I worked on the mental toughness. KKR academy was quite helpful in that sense because I got one-on-one time with Abhishek bhaiya (Abhishek Nayar) and DK bhaiya (Dinesh Karthik). They helped me clear self-doubts. Now, I feel, I've become a better player."

Having impressed at different batting positions, Rana said, "That's the sign of a good team. My plan was clear - to hit a loose ball and then, let DK (Dinesh Karthik) or (Andre) Russell take over for the last four-five overs."

Four of his seven sixes came against India's top off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin but Rana said the attack was not pre-planned.
"I was just trying to build my innings. I was taking it ball by ball at the start and then when I thought I could charge, I did that.

"It doesn't matter for me who the bowler is. My game plan was simple. I thought that was the time to attack and I did. That was the plan for the two overs - of Ashiwn and South African pacer (Hardus Viljoen)."

Rana also hailed Andre Russell's 17-ball 48 and said the lifeline, when the Jamaican survived owing to a no ball, gave them 20-25 runs extra.

"Having 218/4 definitely worked in our favour, Russell got a lifeline and that probably gave us those 20-25 runs extra.

"But even if we had 180 or 200, we would have fought this hard. It wasn't very easy (to chase) because the ball started seaming in the second innings.

Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 12:50:42 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
Australia 5 4 1 0 8
New Zealand 4 3 0 1 7
India 4 3 0 1 7
England 4 3 1 0 6
Bangladesh 5 2 2 1 5
Sri Lanka 5 1 2 2 4
West Indies 5 1 3 1 3
South Africa 5 1 3 1 3
Pakistan 5 1 3 1 3
Afghanistan 4 0 4 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
6 Pakistan 4107 93
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254