Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) middle-order batsman Nitish Rana feels the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a fantastic opportunity for him to spend time with England's 2019 World Cup-winning captain, Eoin Morgan, and imbibe some of the man's leadership qualities.
Morgan reunited with the KKR franchise after six years when he was bought at the last year's auction for INR 5.25 crores. An excellent cricketing brain and a great limited-overs batsman, Morgan is expected to play a key role in Knight Riders' success.
For Rana, on the other hand, Morgan's presence will help him absorb his traits as a captain, which he can perhaps use when he himself leads Delhi at the domestic level.
"I hope I also have that sort of leadership quality so that it helps in my domestic team and I grow as a player," said the left-hander in a media interaction.
"He is one such rare left-handed batsman who dominates white-ball cricket. He's a World Cup-winning captain of a successful country. I'm looking forward to learning many things from him."
Rana was brilliant for KKR last season, scoring his 344 runs in 14 innings at a strike-rate of 146.38. The youngster also provides a useful off-spin bowling option to his team. He feels he can support the likes of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav on surfaces in UAE.
"Bowling is not a new thing to me. I've been bowling in domestic cricket. It's good that spinners will get an advantage here so that I also will get some grip. I've improved as a player and a bowler. Hope I get more overs and help the team."
Selflessly, Rana also said he isn't eyeing any particular spot in the batting order and is willing to bat wherever the team management wants him to.
"I will bat as per team demand. I don't have a fixed batting slot. I'm available to serve the team at any spot," he stressed.
Rana talked about the return of KKR's young pace duo, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, after an extended layoff due to injuries and backed them to perform.
"Nagarkoti was unfortunate to be injured for two years. He's back strong. But this time, both of them are back in full rhythm and clocking 140kph-plus consistently. It will be challenging for any batsman. I hope they will do well," he said.
Knight Riders will kickstart their campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi on September 23.
(Inputs from PTI)