‘Who’s this boy’: KKR batsman recalls the time when he caught Sachin Tendulkar’s attention
In an interaction with Cricbuzz in their latest episode of Youtube show ‘Spicy Pitch’, Rana revealed that a friend informed him when he was bought by Mumbai at the auctions
Kolkata Knight Riders middle-order batsman Nitish Rana opened up about the time when he was first picked up by Mumbai Indians at the Indian Premier League auctions in 2015. Rana, who has played 46 IPL matches, in which, he has scored 1,085 runs at an average of 28.55, played for MI for two years from 2016 to 2017. In 2018, the left-handed batsman was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders and has since then played for the two-time champions.
In an interaction with Cricbuzz in their latest episode of Youtube show ‘Spicy Pitch’, Rana revealed that a friend informed him when he was bought by Mumbai at the auctions.
“My 2015 Ranji season was really good, so I had a bit of hope for the IPL auctions. During the IPL auction actually, I was batting” Rana tells Cricbuzz. “When I called for drinks, I was told that I’ve been picked by Mumbai Indians. I couldn’t - in fact, didn’t - believe it. Perhaps my friend was taking a joke too far. And then, when he insisted, I knew he wasn’t kidding,” Rana said.
Nitish further talked about the time when his friend overheard a conversation between India legend Sachin Tendulkar enquiring about himself from Mumbai Indians manager. “My friend overheard a conversation between Sachin Tendulkar and the Mumbai Indians manager Rahul Sanghvi, and told me that I had caught Sachin sir’s notice. He asked ‘Who’s this boy?’. He had clearly taken notice of me. That felt really good,” the batsman revealed.
In a crucial game against Gujarat Lions in 2016, Rana was given a key advice by former Australia captain that helped him mature as a cricketer. “Just don’t defend. You have the ability to hit the ball. Just hit the ball. Hard,” Ponting had said to Rana. The batsman went on to smash 70 off 36 balls, but could not take his side to a win.
“That game changed everything for me. Since then, I’ve never had doubted myself and whether or not I belong at this level,” the 26-year-old said.