'I wanted to speak my heart out but Rohit Sharma didn't let me': Nitish Rana's pep talk with India captain | Crickit
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'I wanted to speak my heart out but Rohit Sharma didn't let me': Nitish Rana's pep talk with India captain

Jun 24, 2024 04:34 PM IST

Nitish Rana reveals how Rohit Sharma calmed him down in the middle of a forgettable IPL season.

Listen to the youngsters of the Indian cricket team, and they'll all have one thing to say. 'Rohit Sharma bhaiya backs us', 'he is like our older brother, 'he never lets us feel out of place', 'he lets us express ourselves' and many other examples. This narrative about Rohit being an inspirational leader and a player's captain has taken Indian cricket by storm. Talents rave about it all the time. Rohit is the pillar of support they all look up to. Even renowned sports broadcaster Jatin Sapru recently revealed that Rohit's 'bros' in the team are all these young and promising talents that come into the team. 'Garden mein ghoomne wale ladke' as everyone has recently come to know them.

Nitish Rana (L) reveals what happened when he tried to talk captaincy with Rohit Sharma.(AFP-ANI)
Nitish Rana (L) reveals what happened when he tried to talk captaincy with Rohit Sharma.(AFP-ANI)

But did you know? Rohit is equally helpful when it comes to guiding the not-so-young guys. Take Nitish Rana, for example. Incidentally, it was at Mumbai Indians under Rohit's captaincy that Rana started his IPL career in 2013. Even though Rana made it big in the IPL only when he joined the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018, Rohit's impact on his career would be everlasting.

So much so that last year, when Rana, as captain of KKR, was struggling during IPL 2023, one simple piece of advice from Rohit changed his thought process. Coming in as a replacement for the injured Shreyas Iyer, KKR endured a forgettable run, losing eight matches out of 14 to finish 7th on the points table. Even though Rohit was going through his own struggles at MI, he ensured to take the load off Rana a bit.

'What is captaincy?' How Rohit Sharma calmed Nitish Rana

"Last year, when I was captaining, I went up to Rohit bhaiya. We won two matches then lost two matches. He said 'Nitish, what do you think? What is captaincy?' I was about to say something. Actually. I wanted to speak my heart out, but Rohit bhaiya didn't let me. He said captaincy is nothing. Just changing bowlers, moving fielders from one position to another… it's not captaincy," Rana said on the TRS Clips.

"He said all that to calm me down and ease me up. He made me understand 'As long as the result is in your favour, you're sorted. The day things don't go well, no matter how good you captain, no one will talk about you. So, you concentrate on your process and back yourself. The more you try to complicate, it'll be that tough and the more you keep it simple, the easier it'll be.'"

Despite his team's struggle, Rana's own form was up to the mark as he ended the season with 413 runs – his best IPL tally – at an average of 31.77, including three half-centuries. Usually a heavy scorer, Rana has consistently delivered 300-run seasons every year since 2017. Surprisingly enough, Rana did not get as many chances as he would have liked. He played just two matches and scored 42 runs. But Rana wouldn't mind as KKR went on to win the IPL, lifting the trophy for a third time in history.

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