Before Wednesday’s game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Ishan Kishan place in Mumbai Indians’ playing eleven was questioned by many. The young wicketkeeper-batsman had registered three ducks – two of them being first ball ducks – in the tournament so far.
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He started the tournament with a 29-ball 40 against Chennai Super Kings and then made 44 off 23 against Delhi Daredevils. He scored his first half-century of the season against Rajasthan Royals. But as the tournament progressed, he struggled for consistency.
However, the Mumbai team-management persisted with their young star and the latter fully justified their backing with a sublime innings against Kolkata Knight Riders. The southpaw scored 62 off just 21 balls to guide Mumbai Indians to a thumping 102-run win over the Knight Riders. He reached his fifty off just 17 balls and laid the foundation for a good total. Mumbai eventually posted a daunting 210 for 6. In reply, the Knight Riders were all out for just 108.
One of the features of Ishan’s innings was the way he handled Knight Riders’s spinner. All of his six sixes came against the tweakers. The wicketkeeper-batsman took a liking for Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling, hitting him for four successive sixes.
Speaking after the game, Ishan shed some light on his plans against Kuldeep.
“Kuldeep is outgoing for me (bowls the delivery that turns away from me) but he loves to bowl the googly at me. I’ve played him earlier as well. So I knew he is trying to get the ball outside the off stump,” Kishan said about his plans to counter the left-arm spinner.
“My target was that if I get the ball in my arc, I just wanted to hit the ball out of the park. It was like keep watching the ball. If you get the ball, hit, otherwise you can go for a single as well. Rohit was batting with me, so there was no problem. I knew if I don’t score, he can cover up,” he added.
Ishan further praised the Mumbai team-management for backing him. He also revealed that his illustrious state teammate MS Dhoni gives him a lot of tips.
“They are always going to think good for me,” he said. “It’s always good for the youngster to bat up the order and when you have your skipper, and your team management, backing you, that’s the best part. I’m happy wherever I get to bat because at the end of the day, it depends on what your team wants and how they want you to bat.
“I also get lots of tips from Dhoni bhai. He’s a legend player and he keeps telling me you can take time. Just read the situation and see how to build your innings. I feel confident when these guys talk to me,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mumbai have now moved to the fourth spot in the points table after winning their fifth match in 11 games. The defending champions will next play Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.