Nitish Rana is proving to be Mumbai Indians most consistent batsman this season. He has played match-winning innings in their last two games at home. On Wednesday, Rana’s 45 runs helped Mumbai Indians chase down the target of 159 runs set by Sunrisers Hyderabad with four wickets to spare at the Wankhede Stadium. (IPL 2017 full coverage)
It is a fine turnaround for the Delhi-based Rana after a difficult domestic season where he was dropped from the Delhi Ranji Trophy team.
The credit for Rana’s return to form actually goes to Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir. Being his Delhi club and Ranji team senior, Rana had turned to Gambhir for help during his troubled times and his advised has clicked he revealed.
“After my last Ranji match, just before I was dropped, I spoke to Gambhir. He cleared a lot of things as he has seen me for more than 10 years being from the same club. Then I checked with Mahela Jayawardene Sir and Sachin Tendulkar Sir and they told me the same thing. Slowly I adopted those points in my game and luckily it has worked for me,” said Rana after starring in the game against Sunrisers.
Rana said his earlier struggle was not due to any fault in his technique. “I was very disturbed mentally, (because) I had put myself under pressure by thinking too much. I was not able to play my natural game; I was not able to enjoy the game. After getting out couple of times I had gone into a shell. After coming here (Mumbai Indians), my mind became clearer. My practice game was good and I did fine in the practice match and gradually it all came back,” said Rana.
“I shared the details of what had happened with me during the season with the senior players and they shared some of their own experiences with me, from which I got a boost.”
In the last game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Rana had scored a half-century but he said he was disappointed to not finish the job. “I could have done better and should have remained not out in both the matches.”