'Couldn't sleep due to anxiety' - KKR star opens up on struggles during IPL 2024

Kolkata Knight Riders registered its second victory over Mumbai Indians in IPL 2024 and became the first team of the season to qualify for the playoffs.

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Kolkata Knight Riders registered an emphatic win over Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens to confirm their qualification to the IPL 2024 playoffs. With this win, KKR defeated their nemesis Mumbai Indians for the second time in this season.

Before this game, the eyes were on Nitish Rana and it remained to be seen how he shapes up before the playoffs stage. Rana played KKR's first game of the season but was out of the Playing XI for the next 10 games due to a finger injury.

Rana scored 33 runs off 23 balls on his return, and hit 4 fours and a six during his knock. He was run out at the non-striker's end by Tilak Varma after being caught off guard for a while. But his innings propelled Knight Riders to 157-7 in 16 overs in a rain-shortened game.

'It felt as if I was going to play the first game of the IPL': Nitish Rana on his return from injury

While speaking at the post-match press conference, Nitish Rana revealed that he couldn't sleep a night before due to anxiety.

"For the first 20-22 days I didn’t even touch the bat due to injury. After that, I began batting with one hand and did whatever I could. When I was sitting alone, I would visualise my innings. To be honest, I couldn’t sleep the whole night, it felt as if I was going to play the first game of the IPL because I was suddenly included in the team after 10 great games," Rana said.

"Hence, I slept at around 8:30 am as I couldn’t sleep all night due to anxiety. These are the things which keep that hunger inside of you alive," the 30-year-old added.

Rana also lauded the team coach Chandrakant Pandit and mentor Gautam Gambhir for KKR's superb show this year.

"The difference this year as compared to the previous four or five years is according to me the belief that we have in each other. There’s a trust in the dressing room where every player takes the onus on oneself if someone fails," he opined.

"The same set of bowlers let the opposition chase down 260 and we had the same attack today. So, it’s the belief to instil confidence in each other is a lot more than previous years and it’s all because of Chandu Sir (Chandrakant Pandit) and Gauti Bhaiya (Gautam Gambhir)," the left-hander added.

Also read: 'Liability on the team': Social media reacts on Rohit Sharma's struggle against KKR

With this victory, Kolkata Knight Riders also became the first team of this season to qualify for the playoffs. It has been a remarkable turnaround for a team that finished 7th last season.

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