Cricket

IPL 2018: Backing Rana has paid off says Knight Riders coach Jacques Kallis

[caption id="attachment_65938" align="aligncenter" width="580"]KKR Coach Jacques Kallis has heaped high praises on Nitish Rana. Image Source: Xtra Time KKR Coach Jacques Kallis has heaped high praises on Nitish Rana | Image Source: Xtra Time[/caption]

Kolkata: Delhi all rounder Nitish Rana has been a revelation for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the current edition of the Indian Premier League. The 24 year old cricketer has amassed 165 runs in the tournament so far as well as picked 4 wickets. KKR Coach Jaques Kallis on Monday heaped high praises on the all rounder on the sidelines of Knight Golf event at Tollygunge Club here.

"He played well against us for Mumbai. We have heard good things about him. Perhaps he didn't get as many games for Mumbai as he would have liked. We have kind of given him a message that he will be settled in the side and showcase his talent," said Kallis.

Rana has left his mark in all the three wins of the purple army and has got the backing of the team management.

According to Kallis, "We are backing him 100 percent and certainly it has paid off. He played some good innings. He has got a bright future ahead with KKR."

On being asked about the numerous last over finishes in this edition of the IPL, Kallis reckon the fight for playoffs will go down the wire this time as all teams are evenly balanced. He went on to add that net run rate will be very crucial in deciding which four teams make it to the play offs.

"There is no one team that dominates. All teams are pretty balanced. In IPL, every team can beat other team. look for some really exciting cricket going forward. it will be a tight finish at the end maybe a point or two or it will just boil down to NRR for the teams to go through."

The Knight Riders are enjoying a few days break before regrouping themselves for the tie against Delhi Daredevils on April 27.

KKR’s Assistant coach and former Australia opener Simon Katich spoke about the impact of having well known adventurer and explorer Mike Horn with the team.

"With Horn what stood out was that he gave the young guys a lot of opportunities, gave an explanation of what their roles. They had a very good session with him. Some of them are playing the IPL for the first time," said Katich.

There has been a mild criticism from certain sections on the batting order of Shubman Gill. According to the KKR batting coach, “Shubman is batting at a position where we feel he can play a role. Even though he is used to batting at the top of the order, but it’s pretty hard to demote someone like Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa . They have not performed badly either.”

On Andre Russell, who aggravated his hamstring injury in their last game against Kings XI Punjab, Katich said the West Indian in-form all-rounder will be fit for the next game.

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