The opening weekend of the 10th edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) witnessed some epic matches. On Sunday, the match between Mumbai Indian and Kolkata Knight Riders saw a nail-biting finish at the Wankhede Stadium. A huge credit of MI’s win goes to the young lad, Nitish Rana, who smashed a brilliant fifty.
The hosts needed to chase down the target of 179 and they managed to do it with just a ball to spare. As Rana took to himself and played the innings of 50 runs off 29 balls and helped his team to cross the line.
It was surprising for the commentators and fans as well when they saw Rana batting No. 3 ahead of their skipper Rohit Sharma. Mumbai lost their first wicket in the form of Parthiv Patel at the team score of 65 and soon they were reduced to 74 for 3 in the tenth over and 97 for 4 in the 13th. The hosts were in dying need of a top-order batsman to step up on that occasion Rana didn’t disappoint his team. However, the job was finished completely by Hardik Pandya in the final over.
Now, the question arises that who is Nitish Rana?
In the IPL 2015, Rana was bought by Mumbai Indians for 10 lakh, but unfortunately, he didn’t play any match in that season. He is an attacking batsman by nature and he was first picked by his native Delhi in 2012-13 as a limited-overs player. Later on, he went on to make his Ranji Trophy debut only in 2015-16.
In his early game in the Ranji Trophy, he showcased his mettle as a fielder. In a match against Vidarbha, Rana threw a direct hit onto the stumps from square leg and ran out Wasim Jaffer off the first ball of the match. He also scored 61 runs the first innings of that match.
Ups and downs of Rana’s career
In the IPL 2016, Rana played 4 games for Mumbai, in which he managed to score 104 runs with the highest score of 70. He smashed a tally of 8 sixes in that season. However, he didn’t have a good run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy for Delhi in 2016-17 as he made only 10 runs in 3 innings and was dropped. Delhi skipper Gautam Gambhir didn’t want to drop Rana. Gambhir has even criticized the coach, KP Bhaskar, of “creating an atmosphere of uncertainty” in the dressing room.
It was evident that Gambhir saw Rana as the future batsman for Delhi. Interestingly, Gambhir, who is the captain of Knight Riders in IPL, was watching Rana play from the other side of the fence.