Nikhil Naik, a wicket-keeper batsman from Maharashtra who has traversed a journey from the bottom to the top. The dasher from Maharashtra is known for his mean hitting and the ability to provide late impetus to the inning.
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After having led the Under-16 and Under-19 state sides to national titles, Naik made his List-A debut at 19 for Maharashtra, against Gujarat in the 2014 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He was one of the finds of the tournament, scoring 234 runs in four matches at 58.50.
Naik grabbed eyeballs when he smashed 5 sixes in one over during the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy encounter against Railways at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore. Maharashtra were placed in Group E of the coveted T20 tournament and progressed to the Super League Group A after winning 5 of their 7 matches. He hit the headlines after smashing 95 off 58 balls to take Maharashtra to the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy final earlier in March 2019.
Nikhil was a part of Kings XI Punjab in 2016, was acquired by Knights at 2019 IPL Auction for INR 20 Lacs. His debut match on 23 April 2006 when he played from Kings XI Punjab against Sunrisers at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. In his only two outings in IPL, Naik managed to score only 23 runs at a sorry strike-rate of 74.19. Unfortunately after his dismal performance, Nikhil was left out by KXIP. Howbeit, he saw his IPL fortunes turning as Nikhil managed to get a team at IPL 2019 Auction in the name of Kolkata Knight Riders. He has been retained for the 2020 season and will be hoping to get few chances in the playing XI.
An attacking wicketkeeper-batsman, Nikhil Naik was a product of age-group cricket in Maharashtra. Naik's journey to cricket, though, was far from easy. He lost his mother to paralysis in 2010, when still a teenager, and his father, a fish vendor, used to borrow money from his friends to pay for Naik's kits.