IPL 2018: Was lucky to dismiss AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, says KKR's Nitish Rana

Apr 10, 2018, 08:30 IST | Arup Chatterjee

On Sunday, Rana, 24, showed he was well worth the Rs 3.40 crore KKR dished out as he played a stellar role in a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at a packed Eden Gardens

KKR's Nitish Rana (right) celebrates the wicket of RCB's Virat Kohli on Sunday. Pic/AFP
KKR's Nitish Rana (right) celebrates the wicket of RCB's Virat Kohli on Sunday. Pic/AFP

Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders fought hard over Nitish Rana at the January auctions. On Sunday, Rana, 24, showed he was well worth the Rs 3.40 crore KKR dished out as he played a stellar role in a four-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at a packed Eden Gardens.

Dismissing AB de Villers and Virat Kohli off consecutive deliveries just as the duo was beginning to assume ominous proportions, Rana came back to blast 34 and ensure that his new team got over the line. "I should've finished the job. I will keep that in my mind the next time," he said after the match, a trifle disappointed that he was not there till the end as KKR chased down a target of 177. Brushing aside suggestions that filling the No. 3 slot at KKR, where Manish Pandey did a great job, Rana said, "my job is to score runs and I don't see that as pressure.

'Love to bat under pressure'
"It's good that people are expecting more from me after doing well last season. I love to bat under pressure," he gushed. It was, of course, Sunday's bowling feat that raised more eyebrows. "I had nothing to lose and everything to gain," he said of the only over he got to bowl. "I saw the ball was gripping from that end and just bowled in right areas and backed myself. Luckily, I got those two big wickets. It was very important to get them out at that stage," he said.

"I bowl regularly for Delhi, and did well in the practice matches here. Dinesh [Karthik] bhai told me to be ready for an over or two in any match. I got my chance today."

Narine's quickfire 50
RCB's Mandeep Singh was disappointed that his 18-ball 37 didn't count for much in the end. He felt Sunil Narine's blitzkrieg (50 off 19 balls) was the turning point. "Yes, losing those big wickets off successive deliveries was a big blow, and probably cost us 15-20 runs. If you get a start like that in the first six overs, 50 per cent of the game is over. There was not much left for others to do for the rest of the batsmen. It was a crucial knock," said Mandeep, 26, who had once been part of the KKR outfit.

Also Read: IPL 2018: Virat Kohli's RCB can't stop KKR from making winning start

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