IPL 2022: Freedom to play shots; lower-order getting runs reasons behind success, says Rana

Kolkata Knight Riders left-handed middle-order batter Nitish Rana feels that with the lower-order batters getting runs, it has given the top-order freedom to play shots of their choice, enabling them to be successful in early part of IPL 2022.

Kolkata are currently seated at top of the table and are facing Delhi Capitals at Brabourne Stadium on Sunday. Under the captaincy of Shreyas Iyer and with coach Brendon McCullum at helm, Kolkata have embraced a high-attacking approach which has resulted in Andre Russell and Pat Cummins playing astonishing knocks to take the side to victory.

“The atmosphere in the dressing room and the mindset we are playing the game with. Overall, if you see the batters at number, six, seven, eight, it gives the top-order a free hand on what type of shots we can play. Like, in one match, Andre Russell played an unbelievable knock and in last match, Pat Cummins did that. So, we have the free hand and freedom I think is the reason behind our success,” said Rana in pre-match chat with broadcasters Star Sports.

Asked about difficulty in batting at different positions for Kolkata, Rana remarked, “There is no such difficulty as we all are professional players and whatever the team demands, we have to fulfil it. Last year, my role was different, this time, it’s different. I am happy at wherever I get to play and happy to bat at any scenario.”

This will also be the first time Kolkata will be facing left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the IPL after the mega auction saw him join Delhi. Rana, who has scored 39 runs in four matches, signed off by saying that he is just one innings away from touching form.

“As such, we don’t have any plan (to counter Kuldeep). The way game goes, we will bat as per that. I will try to apply myself and in the last five-six seasons, I have tended to start well but this year, I haven’t got the start. I am just one inning away and feel confident about that one inning coming today.”

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