ABU DHABI: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Nitish Rana said he is an admirer of former India skipper Sourav Ganguly from his childhood days even before picking up the sport. Talking about his childhood days and connection with the game he explained how his batting style looks similar to Ganguly.
"Even before I started playing, my family was crazy about cricket. My father was a huge fan of Sachin Tendulkar, my elder brother was a fan of Rahul Dravid, and I was an admirer of Sourav Ganguly. There have been times when I would just lock myself up in the room and weep because Dada (Sourav) got out early. I was not even playing cricket back then. This was a routine in the house. Basically, depending on who among Ganguly, Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar performs better on a given day, we used to tease each other," Rana told KKR's official website.
"I was great at mimicking the styles of every bowler and batsman. So, everyone used to ask me to act like Dada and I used to do that happily. So, I guess the repeated imitation led to a habit and moulded my batting style to a certain extent," he added.
Other than Ganguly, the former left-handed batsman Gautam Gambhir also inspired Rana as he observed the veteran for almost 12 years. "But when I started cricket professionally, I met Gautam Gambhir. We were from the same club. Whenever I used to go for training, I would observe him while he would bat. I don't think my batting matches his style but if people compare, I have no issues with it. I had been closely observing him for almost 12 years. If I have imbibed even an iota of his batting skills by my observations, it is my good fortune," Rana said.
The 26-year-old middle-order batsman is working on maintaining the consistency in his performance. However, the player is yet to find a solution to his problem. "I am actually trying to work this out with Abhishek Nayar and Sanjay sir. I am still figuring out as to why my performances dip after a good start. This has been a recurrent incident with me even in domestic seasons. I am still trying to crack it but haven't got a way out of the problem yet. I have got somewhat better in the second season of IPL in comparison to the first one. But honestly, I am not in a rush to change everything in one season," Rana said.
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.