For the primary few editions of the IPL, Nitish Rana would flip up at Kotla to observe cricket as a lot as to see Akshay Kumar, a well-known Bollywood actor, cheer-leading for the Delhi franchise. He “by no means thought” he’d play the IPL till all of it modified for him earlier than IPL 2016, when he turned up for Mumbai Indians and hasn’t regarded again ever since.
“My 2015 Ranji season was actually good, so I had a little bit of hope for the IPL auctions. Throughout the IPL public sale truly, I used to be batting” Rana tells Cricbuzz. “Once I known as for drinks, I used to be instructed that I’ve been picked by Mumbai Indians. I couldn’t – in truth, didn’t – imagine it. Maybe my pal was taking a joke too far. After which, when he insisted, I knew he wasn’t kidding…”
As for thus many younger cricketers, issues for him modified after Sachin Tendulkar intervened. “My pal overheard a dialog between Sachin Tendulkar and the Mumbai Indians supervisor Rahul Sanghvi, and instructed me that I had caught Sachin sir’s discover. He requested ‘Who’s this boy?’. He had clearly taken discover of me. That felt actually good,” Rana reveals.
After which, got here the watershed second. A do-or-die match for the Mumbai Indians, and this time, he was taken apart by none apart from Ricky Ponting and acquired himself the mother-of-all morale boosts: “Simply don’t defend. You have got the power to hit the ball. Simply hit the ball. Laborious.”
Rana went on to attain a 36-ball 70 towards a seasoned Gujarat Lions bowling assault. Mumbai nonetheless went on to lose the match however had discovered themselves an thrilling younger expertise in Nitish Rana.
“That recreation modified all the pieces for me. Since then, I’ve by no means had doubted myself and whether or not or not I belong at this degree.”