Mumbai Indians' wicketkeeper-batsman youngster Ishan Kishan was absolutely brilliant in the recently concluded Indian Premier League 2018. His execution may not be the best at this stage of his career, but no one can fault his intent as he scored 275 runs in at an average of 22.91, with his outstanding hitting through midwicket standing out.
Ishan Kishan though wants to extend his range as a batsman, and he looks forward to the future with high ambitions. He was recently quoted saying to Firstpost that, "Like most left-handers, I prefer to hit through the leg side. But having said that, I’d like to improve my strokes over mid-off and covers, and also the cut shot. Also, I’d like to work on my consistency to come back stronger next season,"
His strike rate was absolutely brilliant, as he scored at a breezing rate of 149.45. Ishan further talked about the learnings he received from the more established players during the Indian Premier League this year.
“Last year, I had a word with (Suresh) Raina bhai. He told me a few things about reading the game. I also had a lot of conversations with (MS) Dhoni bhai, who told me to calculate the game and play accordingly. Also, my own understanding of the game has improved over the past year. Now, I like to play the situations. If the ball is there to be hit and if I am timing it well, I’ll go for my shots, but generally, I like to bat as per the team’s needs,”
“I got out for three ducks, including two in the space of three matches. But Rohit bhai always backed me. He understands that any player can get out early. All he told me was to play freely, which is what I tried to do. He told me that next year too I should continue with this approach and score more consistently,”
One of the learnings that Ishan Kishan has certainly received, is the adaptability and flexibility. The need to be willing to bat anywhere for his team.
Ishan reiterated “Personally, I prefer to bat up the order because that’s where you have a chance to set up the game. However, I learned that if you are playing a competition like IPL, you can’t always get your preferences. You should be comfortable to play anywhere for the team, and that’s what I always sought to do.”
He also talked about how the excellent mentorship and guidance by Rahul Dravid helped him immensely, while he was part of India's U-19 setup.
Ishan Kishan said, “I think Rahul Dravid sir deserves a lot of credit for this. He coached us in 2016 (during the U-19 World Cup) and told us a lot of important things about mindset and preparations. I followed his advice and scored about 800 runs in Ranji Trophy in the 2016-17 season. It’s no surprise that a good young bunch is coming up under his guidance"
(Inputs from Firstpost)