Abu Dhabi [UAE], Aug 31 (ANI): Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Nitish Rana picks debut match for the franchise against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as his favourite performance.
"I think it was my debut match for KKR against RCB where I got the wickets of Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers in an over. I also scored 34 runs. Unfortunately, I played a poor shot and got out. Later on, I had a chat with DK (Dinesh Karthik) about it and he told me that I needed to develop the skills of a finisher," Rana told KKR's official website.
"I can't deny the importance of that match when it comes to boosting my morale. I had been playing for a different team for three years. So, to get into a comfort zone with KKR, I needed that fillip from the game," he added.
Talking about his power-hitting abilities, Rana thanked his former coach Sanjay Bhardwaj for giving him such exposure in the early days which benefitted him in IPL.
"I am extremely glad that I trained under Sanjay Bhardwaj during my early days. We used to practise in a ground that only belonged to us. First, I used to bat at the nets for 45 minutes and then switch to the centre wicket. Sir used to ask me to take five spinners with me and just practise hitting sixes," he said.
"For close to 2-3 years, I just repeated this routine and got into the habit of hitting big shots. I never thought that this kind of practice would eventually help me in IPL. But I guess my hard work of the yesteryears is now paying me off," the middle-order batsman added.
Rana further revealed that KKR Academy camp improved his skills and he closely worked on his weaknesses under the guidance of lead coach and mentor Abhishek Nayar and skipper Dinesh Karthik.
"There have been many discussions about my weaknesses against fast bowling and short balls. I have had a very open chat with Abhishek sir about these drawbacks. He has helped me a lot and if you compare my second year's performance with that of the first year, you will see the difference," Rana said.
"I have definitely noticed the difference in my game, and this is one of the reasons I never ever miss any KKR Academy camp. DK helps me a lot as well but most of the times I receive the best help from him is during IPL matches. Honestly, if I want to be a better player, I would need the support of both Abhishek bhaiya and DK," the left-handed batsman added.
The IPL 2020 will be played in the UAE from September 19-November 10 across three venues -- Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.
The final match of the 2020 edition is scheduled to be played on a weekday, i.e. Tuesday, for the first time in the history of the T20 tournament. This time, both the afternoon and evening matches will be played half-an-hour earlier than usual.
The schedule for the tournament is yet to announce. (ANI)