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IPL 2024: ‘Abhishek Nayar has basically been my guru in everything’, says Angkrish Raghuvanshi

Visakhapatnam, April 4: Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) young batter Angkrish Raghuvanshi, who impressed everyone with his 27-ball 54 to play a crucial hand in the side’s 106-run win over Delhi Capitals (DC) on Wednesday evening, credited his mentor and team’s assistant coach Abhishek Nayar for being his guru in all aspects leading to a stunning show with the bat.

“I think the way we’ve been practicing for the past few weeks, that’s gotten me used to playing at a good level. And that’s how it basically happened. My coach Abhishek Nayar, the way he’s made me practice, I didn’t really have to think too much when I went to bat.

“I just backed my instincts and I trusted that what I did during practice was enough. He has made me face tough circumstances during practice, so I think nothing will feel that tough in a match. Lots and lots of practice. If I keep doing that during practice, then it will come off in a match.

“He has helped me in every way – the way I think about the game, the way I work towards the game, the things I eat, the way I train. He’s basically been my guru in everything, my mentor in everything, and that’s my relationship with him. I have learnt a lot from him,” he said in the post-match press conference.

Nayar, the former India all-rounder, has previously been credited with the resurgence of wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik. Angkrish moved under him as an 11-year-old from New Delhi and went on to be a member of India’s 2022 U19 World Cup triumph.

In Wednesday’s match, Angkrish impressed with his wrist work and the ability take on DC’s bowlers by mixing innovation with copybook strokeplay to get his maiden IPL fifty. “I would like to dedicate this knock to my coach, Abhishek Nayar and my teammates and the support staff.

“I have learned a lot staying with them. Abhishek sir has been working with me since my childhood. All this reverse sweep and all, he made me practice a lot. So, the main man is him only,” the youngster added.

Asked on how his role will be at number three, the 18-year-old said,”I was supposed to bat number three in the previous match, but also if a wicket fell in the powerplay – that’s what my role is. I went in to bat tonight, and everything sort of just happened. It happened very quickly so I wasn’t thinking very much. I don’t know what to say.

“It’s nice to get into the tournament with a fifty, but more importantly, three wins in three games (for KKR) and that’s all the entire team is thinking about. It’s not (about) personal (goals), it’s how we can win games for our team.”

The 106-run win for KKR has ensured that the two-time winners are now at top place on the points table. It’s also the first time that KKR have started an IPL season with three consecutive wins, setting themselves as potential title contenders. Their next match in IPL 2024 will be against defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Monday evening.

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