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Ready for International Cricket, KKR's Nitish Rana Awaits "That One Call"

Nitish Rana has been the best batsman of IPL 2021 so far with two half centuries to his credit.

Nitish Rana has been the best batsman of IPL 2021 so far with two half centuries to his credit.

India, sans stars such Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, will be touring Sri Lanka for a white-ball series in July.

After creating a space for himself in both the domestic circuit and the IPL, Delhi and Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Nitish Rana feels ready for international arena, hoping to get his “reward" when the Indian team is picked for July’s tour of Sri Lanka.

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India, sans stars such Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, will be touring Sri Lanka for a white-ball series in July.

“It is there at the back of my mind that my name should come (in the squad) and I am prepared for that because I feel my name would come," Nitish told PTI in an interview when asked whether he is hoping for a call-up.

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“If you pick and see my record for the last three years in white-ball be it domestic or the IPL, I have performed well and I feel that I will get the reward for it today or tomorrow.

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“And I feel I am ready for international cricket and I am waiting for that like they say one call away…I am waiting for that call…," added the 27-year-old left-handed batsman, who also bowls off-break.

Rana has scored 2,266 runs from 38 first-class games, averaging over 40. India is set to travel to Sri Lanka for a T20 and ODI series and the team would comprise all white-ball specialists as the Test team would be playing in England at the same time.

Rana, who scored 201 runs from seven matches in the currently-suspended IPL also reflected on the season.

“To be very honest, from the last 3-4 years, it has been a pattern for me that I start the season well, in mid-season, I have 2-3 flop innings and then at the end of the season I play 1-2 innings well.

“So always, the total (runs) scored are in between 330-400," he said.

He said he does not really know how to react to the IPL’s suspension at this point.

“We have got a break this season, so I am unable to understand whether I should be happy or sad. I should be unhappy because I have been reflecting on why my season goes this way as I am trying to be consistent for myself and my franchise.

“So having worked a lot, this was the correct time to see whether it worked for me or not…but right now I am looking at it in such a way that it is better that I have got a break and as a batter I can start afresh," he explained.

According to Rana, his hunger to score runs used to vanish after three-four matches and the coaches advised him to watch that aspect.

“I added many skills mentally in my game and normal life. I felt that in the last 2-3 years, I used to become very happy that I am performing well and it should continue, but the hunger to score runs used to finish.

“…my coaches said a hungry Nitish Rana should stay alive, it will make you consistent," he elaborated.

“It is not guaranteed that you will score runs in every match but the ratio improves."

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first published:May 18, 2021, 16:02 IST