Nitish Rana Overcomes Anxiety to Shine in IPL Comeback

Kolkata Knight RidersNitish Rana made a stunning comeback after being sidelined due to a finger injury, revealing he battled anxiety ahead of his comeback game against Mumbai Indians on May 11.

The 30-year-old batter, who last played in KKR’s season opener against SunRisers Hyderabad before sitting out the next 10 games, returned to action against MI and scored a crucial 23-ball 33 in KKR’s total of 157/7 in 16 overs.

Rana, speaking at the post-match press conference, opened up about the mental toll the injury took on him.

“For the first 20-22 days, I didn’t even touch the bat due to the injury. After that, I began batting with one hand and did whatever I could,” he said. “When I was sitting alone, I would visualize my innings. To be honest, I couldn’t sleep the whole night, it felt as if I was going to play the first game of the IPL because I was suddenly included in the team after 10 great games. Hence, I slept at around 8:30 am as I couldn’t sleep all night due to anxiety. These are the things which keep that hunger inside of you alive,” he added.

Rana’s return proved vital, as KKR completed an emphatic 18-run victory against MI. His brief cameo, along with the team’s overall performance, has contributed to their success this season.

“There’s a trust in the dressing room where every player takes the onus on oneself if someone fails,” Rana said, highlighting the team’s belief in each other. “The difference this year as compared to the previous four or five years is according to me the belief that we have in each other. So, it’s the belief to instill confidence in each other is a lot more than previous years and it’s all because of Chandu Sir (Chandrakant Pandit) and Gauti Bhaiya (Gautam Gambhir).”

After their run to the final in 2021, KKR missed out on playoff qualification in 2022 and 2023. However, they became the first team to officially qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2024 with the win against MI. With two league-stage games remaining, KKR will look to seal a top-two spot, assuring themselves two cracks at qualifying for the final. Their next outing is against Gujarat Titans (GT) in Ahmedabad on Monday, May 13.

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Kolkata Knight Riders' Nitish Rana made a stunning comeback after being sidelined due to a finger injury, revealing he battled anxiety ahead of his comeback game against Mumbai Indians on May 11.

The 30-year-old batter, who last played in KKR's season opener against SunRisers Hyderabad before sitting out the next 10 games, returned to action against MI and scored a crucial 23-ball 33 in KKR's total of 157/7 in 16 overs.

Rana, speaking at the post-match press conference, opened up about the mental toll the injury took on him.

"For the first 20-22 days, I didn’t even touch the bat due to the injury. After that, I began batting with one hand and did whatever I could," he said. "When I was sitting alone, I would visualize my innings. To be honest, I couldn’t sleep the whole night, it felt as if I was going to play the first game of the IPL because I was suddenly included in the team after 10 great games. Hence, I slept at around 8:30 am as I couldn’t sleep all night due to anxiety. These are the things which keep that hunger inside of you alive," he added.

Rana's return proved vital, as KKR completed an emphatic 18-run victory against MI. His brief cameo, along with the team's overall performance, has contributed to their success this season.

"There’s a trust in the dressing room where every player takes the onus on oneself if someone fails," Rana said, highlighting the team's belief in each other. "The difference this year as compared to the previous four or five years is according to me the belief that we have in each other. So, it’s the belief to instill confidence in each other is a lot more than previous years and it’s all because of Chandu Sir (Chandrakant Pandit) and Gauti Bhaiya (Gautam Gambhir)."

After their run to the final in 2021, KKR missed out on playoff qualification in 2022 and 2023. However, they became the first team to officially qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2024 with the win against MI. With two league-stage games remaining, KKR will look to seal a top-two spot, assuring themselves two cracks at qualifying for the final. Their next outing is against Gujarat Titans (GT) in Ahmedabad on Monday, May 13.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram