The casual fans of the Indian Premier League (IPL) may not be aware of the name, 'Nitish Rana' who enjoyed a supreme 68-run innings in Kolkata Knight Riders' season opening game against Bhuvneshwar Kumar's SunRisers Hyderabad on Sunday.
However, the left-handed batsman has made quite a name for himself in the first-class cricket circuit and has come to be known as more of a game-winning player for his side much like the former skipper of the Indian cricket team in Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Rana, who hit eight boundaries and three maximums in a heroic run-chase by his KKR last evening, is a Delhi born athlete who made his first-class cricket debut during the 2015-16 season of the Ranji Trophy and ended up being the lead-scorer of the team (557). He also scored a total of 218 runs during the 2015-16 season of Vijay Hazare Trophy and was the second highest run-getter for Delhi.
The 2015–16 season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy has to be the highlight of the cricketer's career (until yesterday) during which he helped a struggling Delhi survive through tough games against Andhra, Baroda and Jharkhand whilst scoring a total of 299 runs in 8 innings at a staggering strike rate of 175.88.
With an aggressive batting style and the ability to fill in the bowling lineup as a part-time off-spinner, Rana eventually made it to the roster of Team India A for the 2018-19 Deodar Trophy and the squad for last year's ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup.
On Sunday, Rana contributed immensely towards Kolkata's successful 183-run chase while forming a decent partnership with Robin Uthappa (35) only for Andre Russell and Shubman Gill to seal the deal and bring a great start to his side.
For his efforts, his fans took to Twitter to praise the 25-year-old:March 24, 2019
Russell you beauty ð¥ð¥ð¥ð¥
Nitish Rana ð¥ð¥ð¥
Subhman Gill ð¥ð¥ð¥
Nitish Rana's cut shot is a thing of beauty.#KKRvSRH— Naresh Singaravelu (@NareshVelu) March 24, 2019 March 24, 2019
Nitish Rana >>> Rinku Singh
End of debate.#KKRvSRH