Nitish Rana is someone who has garnered a lot of fame through the Indian Premier League. After a good season with Delhi in the domestic circuit, the left-handed batsman was signed up by Mumbai Indians ahead of the IPL 2016 season. This was the first time the batsman got a shot at fame and he grabbed them with both hands.
In a recently released interview, the young batsman talked about how the news of getting picked at the auction was conveyed to him. During the interaction, he revealed that the news was given to him by a friend during a Ranji trophy match. As Rana was batting, he called someone from the dressing room for some drinks. This is exactly when he got the news of getting picked.
Nitish Rana also revealed what Ricky Ponting advised him
“When I called for drinks, I was told that I’ve been picked by Mumbai Indians. I couldn’t – in fact, didn’t – believe it. Perhaps my friend was taking a joke too far. And then, when he insisted, I knew he wasn’t kidding,” Nitish Rana said during Cricbuzz’s show ‘The Spicy Pitch’.
During the interview, the 26-year-old also revealed the time when he got to know that the Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar had noticed him. He said that one of his friends had overheard a chat between Tendulkar and MI manager. Upon being told about this, the young batsman felt really good. Tendulkar has been the icon of the Mumbai Indians for the past several years and has also served as their batting mentor.
“My friend overheard a conversation between Sachin Tendulkar and the Mumbai Indians manager Rahul Sanghvi and told me that I had caught Sachin sir’s notice. He asked ‘Who’s this boy?’. He had clearly taken notice of me. That felt really good,” Rana said.
After the arrival at the Mumbai Indians camp, Rana didn’t get a lot of opportunities initially. It was late in the 2016 season when he appeared in a match against the now-defunct Gujarat Lions and impressed everyone. He had scored 70 runs from 36 balls and everyone took notice of the young man.
During the interaction, the young batsman also told what the ex-coach of Mumbai Indians, Ricky Ponting, had advised him.
“Just don’t defend. You have the ability to hit the ball. Just hit the ball. Hard,” Ponting had told Rana. Rana went on to become a key player for Mumbai in the upcoming season. He was with the squad when they won the 2017 IPL. After this, he moved to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018.
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