Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Jacques Kallis on Monday lavished praise on his batsman Nitish Rana, saying the KKR management showed their trust on him and now the youngster is paying off.
The 24-year-old Delhi lad has had two seasons with the Mumbai Indians (MI), for which he has made 333 runs in 13 matches in the IPL 2017, and 104 runs from 4 matches in the 2016 season.
The left-hander has grabbed many eyeballs with his decent First-class 2015–16 season, where he finished as Delhi's leading run-getter with 557 runs in the Ranji Trophy and second highest run-scorer of his team with 218 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Although, Rana attracted the franchises due to his stellar show for MI in the 2017 season during the IPL Auction earlier this year.
Now with the purple brigade, Rana has been continuously delivering his best and was instrumental in KKR’s all three wins in the ongoing IPL 2018 so far, as not only his batting has been proving handy, but also his part-time off-spin has been giving crucial junctures to the KKR this season as well.
With the batsman has scored 165 runs at 33.00 and picked up four wickets in six games, Rana has adjudged two Man of the Match awards in the ongoing season of the T20 league so far.
Meanwhile, South Africa great said that they had just asked him to showcase his talent and then he can be a settled member in the side in the tournament and for which the management is backing him 100 percent and now he is meeting with the expectations of the KKR.
As per reports in PTI, Kallis told reporters on the sidelines of the Knight Golf event at the Tollygunge Club, “We had given him a message that he will be a settled member in the side and he just needs to showcase his talent. We are backing him 100 percent and certainly, it has paid off.”
The KKR coach also revealed that Rana’s show for MI against his team during the IPL 2017 match when he smashed a 29-ball 50 to help MI secure a four-wicket win, and for his stunning show he was adjudged Man of The Match, forced them to pick him for a whopping INR 3.4 crore for this season.
Kallis further added, “He played well against us in Mumbai. We had heard some good things about him but perhaps didn't get as many games for MI as he would have liked. He certainly has got a bright future with KKR.”
On Saturday (21 April) KKR lost to Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by DLS method, and slipped to third with Chennai Super Kings leading the table followed by KXIP, and KKR coach is happy to get some break to return to winning ways when they will next play the host Delhi Daredevils (DD) on April 27.
Kallis signed off by saying, “We are in the mid-table now, the other end would not have been nice. We have played some good cricket. It's nice to get a few days off and regroup in Delhi and hope to return to winning ways.”