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Optimistic Nitish Rana admits having "tough competition" for spot in Team India (Interview)

<br> <br>Rana, in an exclusive chat with IANS, spoke about his IPL performance in 2022 and his training regime. The 28-year-old also talked about his preparations for the upcoming Ranji season. Excerpts:

Q) How has your training and practice been lately?

A) I have been focusing and working on certain technical aspects lately. We athletes always have room for improvement and it is a constant learning curve for us. In the current scenario, fitness cannot be ignored if you want to continue playing professional cricket in the long run. Hence, I am evaluating and working on all aspects lately.

Q) You have been a part of KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) for so long now and played under different captains? So, how was Shreyas Iyer as a captain?

A) KKR is one of the best teams in the IPL. I have had the opportunity to play under the leadership of many successful captains. Shreyas is young and surely brings an advantage to the team as a whole. I have always had clarity on my role as a member of the team since day one. I try to give my best and play as the team requires in a particular situation.

Q) How will you assess your own performance in the IPL 2022 season?

A) Every season I set certain goals for myself. Some are met and some require extra effort from my end. There’s always room for improvement and to grow as an athlete with new learning every day.

Q) There is so much competition nowadays and it’s almost impossible for everyone to get selected for India. You must have also got that feeling, how do you deal with it?

A) The competition is tough. There has been a boom in talent thanks to the IPL. I am a competitive person and take challenges in a positive way. I learn every day and I try to apply those learnings in my life as an athlete.

Q) In your career so far, you have batted at various positions but which is your favourite position?

A) I am very comfortable playing in the middle-order as I feel it brings the best out of me, having said that it is a team sport, and I can bat at any position depending on what my team and the management demand.

Q) Any specific plans for the upcoming Ranji season for Delhi?

A) The goals are set. I look forward to performing in the domestic season and earning my spot in the Indian team again.

Q) How was the experience watching the match at Old Trafford?

A) The experience of watching Manchester United vs Liverpool was unreal. It was one of the things on my bucket list and I’m glad I’ve been there and done that now. Watching my favourite players like Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo was exciting and at the same time a motivational boost for me to work harder towards my goal.

Q) You recently signed up with FairPlay Sports as an exclusive management agency, what role do you think a professional agency plays in the life of a sportsperson?

A) Fairplay Sports is a team of experienced professionals. They have been working constantly in nurturing the athletes and taking care of their business side. This is my first experience working with an agency Exclusively and it has been a smooth ride. The team understands the needs of an athlete and ensures they are met. I am happy to be associated with an agency that supports me and my goals.

–IANS

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