Duleep Trophy: Harshit eyes development as all-rounder after impressing with bat and ball

Having given ample manifestation of his talent, Harshit Rana on Thursday hoped the performance will give wings to his journey as an all-rounder.

The 21-year-old Delhiite cracked his maiden first-class hundred, an unbeaten 86-ball 122, and later picked up a wicket to give North Zone command over North East Zone in the Duleep Trophy quarterfinal.

North Zone made a mammoth 540 for 8 declared and then reduced NE Zone to 65 for 3 to take complete control of the match.

“Yes! It is my natural game. I have played the whole Ranji season (2022-23) like that. I keep focus on my game. It is not to say that the match situation does not matter but my game plan is to go for my shots if the ball is in my hitting area. My coaches from the club level have always told me that I can bat,” Rana said after the second day’s play.

However, Harshit’s primary suit remains bowling and he can crank up pace in excess of 140 kmph as he had often shown while playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Harshit said the tutelage of KKR bowling coaches Bharat Arun and Omkar Salvi has benefitted him immensely.

“I have benefitted a lot from the coaching of (Bharat) Arun sir and (Omkar) Salvi sir. They always give me a lot of advice, not just about cricket but about life as well. They treat me as their son.

“Arun sir has helped me a lot to handle the pressure of the IPL. He told me to focus on your strength and bowl freely, back myself and stick to the plans. It has worked well for me in all formats. Their advice on adjusting lengths as per the formats (red ball and white ball) has been very valuable,” he said.

Harshit also thanked KKR captain Nitish Rana for recommending him to the IPL franchise, opening the door of bigger opportunities for him.

“Nitish bhai has supported me a lot. If he has not done that then I would not have got this chance to play for KKR. I can say that my career has taken off because of Nitish bhai,” said Harshit.

Harshit, who was a net bowler for Gujarat Titans before joining KKR, said his growth has been accentuated by the chance to bowl against top-class batters like Hardik Pandya, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill etc.

“They are big players and are ready with a plan and reaction even before I bowl. It was a learning experience to bowl at them at GT and KKR nets,” he added.

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