Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has heaped praise on Nitish Rana's 80-run knock in Kolkata Knight Riders' opening IPL 2021 fixture against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.
Rana bolstered KKR's top-order with his quick-fire 56-ball 80, laced with 9 fours and 4 maximums. Rana took Hyderabad bowlers to the cleaners along with Rahul Tripathi, who also notched up a rapid half-century.
Shubman Gill and Rana initially put up a 53-run opening partnership off 42 balls. However, things changed quickly when Tripathi entered the scene. Rana and Tripathi put up 93 runs off just 50 balls for the second wicket as KKR finished with 187/6 on the Chepauk wicket.
"Nitish Rana's knock was his best knock that I've seen in the IPL. He's been playing in the tournament for quite a while now. He's stylish and often helps his side by scoring 30-40 odd runs. But his knock against Sunrisers Hyderbad had several additions," said Manjrekar in an exclusive chat with India TV.
"The left-hander was hitting sweeps with ease. During our time, we used hit sweeps against spinners but players nowadays have the ability to execute the shot off pacers too.
"Shikhar Dhawan had also played such sweeps during Delhi's fixture against Chennai Super Kings. The challenge for Rana will be to achieve consistency and continue the form like Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan," he added.