“Not many can hit sixes as early as I can”: Ishan Kishan

No singles/doubles? Do not worry. Ishan Kishan has the most effective method to counteract a rotation problem. Whack sixes.

When asked about his gameplay in white ball cricket, which is more about hitting boundaries than running between 22 yards, the 24-year-old said: “Kuch player ka strength hote hai rotate karna…kinhi ka chakka maarna….mere jaisa koi chakka bhi utna jaldi nahi maar pata hai. Mai bahot aasani se maarta hu. (For some players, their forte is turning the shot… for others, hitting sixes… not many can hit sixes as early as I can. I hit them with ease.)”

“That’s my forte. hitting sixes. So if I can do my bit by hitting sixes, I don’t think about rotating that much. But yes, there will be innings where rotation would be required if wickets fell from the other end. Practicing for this is also important. But if your forte is hitting sixes and you can get the ball to do it, then you don’t need to rotate. Just hit a six,” he said after the game on Sunday.

Kishan went ballistic with the racquet in the second India-South Africa ODI, scoring 93 balls from 84 balls. An innings that consisted of four fours and seven sixes. After India lost both Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill on the power play, Kishan added 161 runs for the third wicket with Shreyas Iyer (who later hit the hundreds). Between the two, as Kishan explained, the strategy was simple.

“When I played Maharaj’s first over, I realized I wasn’t supporting (the spin) much,” he said. “The ball was fresh and I felt like we had to take 2-3 chances before it got old because sometimes when you’re attacking the bowlers also try to deviate from their line and length to get away from another goal to preserve. That’s when you get simpler borders. I thought it would be easier for Iyer too. The plan was simple: if a left arm spinner bowled, I would take the chance and try to put pressure on him.”

Kishan, who has played his state cricket with Jharkhand, quite a bit of it at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi, said his familiarity with the wicket helped a lot in India’s pursuit of 279.

“We talked about playing so many games at Ranchi that I know the wicket. Mostly in the second innings the wicket gets slow. But when we came out to practice, the thaw factor was there too and we felt like the pitch wasn’t going to change much (in the second innings).

A Team B Team

After captain Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan became the opener with the most T20I appearances for India since last year’s World Cup. He said that while not being included in the squad was a setback, he could add more Sixes to his tally and work his way up the ladder to earn a place in a World Cup squad.

“Obviously it’s a bad feeling when you’re not part of a big team, when you’re not part of a big tournament that gives you a good presence. When you help your country win the World Cup, it’s a whole different feeling. But I think there were some flaws that the selectors would have noticed. Some improvements needed from my side. If I hit 7-8 sixes today, I know I have the ability to hit 9-10 as well.”

He added: “Now if you look at the team (for the T20 World Championship) everyone is doing really well. The batters…the middle class, the openers, they’re all doing really well. So I’ll bid my time. I want to have that confidence in me that if my opportunity comes along, that I feel like I’ve prepared myself fully and I can help the team win. When that confidence comes, I’ll say I’m ready for my place in the team.”

While India’s T20 World Cup squad landed in Australia on Friday, the Shikhar Dhawan-led ODI side have now leveled the three-game streak against South Africa, with the decider being played in Delhi on Tuesday 11 October. Kishan also shared his thoughts on the outside talks about the team being dubbed India’s B-Team, doubting they’re a strong contender against a full-strength visiting Proteas side.

“I heard we’re the B team and not that capable of beating the South African A team… I heard those comments and I was really upset by it,” the southpaw said. “So today we wanted to play our A game too and because we lost the first game we wanted to win this one so we can fight the next one. Hopefully we win the next one too with the kind of form that Iyer beats, Sanju beats Bhai, everyone is at their best so our goal is the next game.

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