Ishan Kishan, after his blazing match-winning half-century against England in the second T20I, revealed that it was indeed his Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma who had told him that he will open on Sunday.
After his heroics for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 – 516 runs at an average of 57.33 with a strike rate of 145.76, helping the side to its fifth title – and continuing the form in domestic cricket, Ishan Kishan was given his maiden national call-up for the 5-match T20I series against England in Ahmedabad.
Rohit Sharma was rested from the first two T20Is, and the left-hander was selected to replace Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 4 off 12 in the first T20I. The 22-year-old made a light work of the target of 165 on a sluggish surface as he blasted 56 runs off 32 balls with the help of 5 fours and 4 sixes.
Kishan reveals that Rohit Sharma had advised him to play as fearlessly as he does in the IPL. The youngster, while had nervousness on his maiden international outing, says he was motivated by the fact that he was playing for his country, and wanted to give his best.
“As a cricketer, many people are there who play different roles to help you succeed. Rohit Bhai told me before the match that you will open, play freely as you do in the IPL. He told me to stay clear. Obviously, I was nervous when I went out there, but at the end of the day, when you see the flag of your country and you are wearing the national jersey, all you want to do is give your best,” Ishan Kishan said during the post-match press conference.
I get happy when I see the U-19 guys performing well: Ishan Kishan
The southpaw is happy that he is playing alongside his 2016 under-19 World Cup teammates Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar; Kishan led the side to the final.
While Kishan opened on Sunday, the left-hander also doesn’t mind being a floater as Rohit Sharma is likely to come back in the third T20I, and as skipper, Virat Kohli had said that KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma are the first-choice openers.
“I get happy when I see the U-19 guys performing well, it is always a proud moment to see them perform. When I go out there in the middle, I always think about how I can improve myself. I just think about how I can get better with each passing day.
“As the level keeps on increasing in your cricket, there is no fixed spot for you. You keep on floating. I do not think about any number, I just do what the team requires,” the Jharkhand batsman added.