“Hit him for a six”, Ishan Kishan recalls Virat Kohli’s advice on international debut

The 23-year-old batter scored a half-century on his T20I debut against England last year.

Ishan Kishan | BCCI

Ishan Kishan made his T20I debut against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahemdabad on March 14, 2021, after going through all of the steps that an aspiring cricketer in India has to go through. He had already established himself as an important member of the Mumbai Indians (MI) team in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

England scored 164 in the second Twenty20 International. India's openers were debutant Ishan and KL Rahul. While the latter was out in the opening over, the debutant continued to score runs with then-captain Virat Kohli at the other end. The pair put together a fantastic partnership that propelled the home team to a 7-wicket victory. Kishan scored 56 off 32 balls with 5 boundaries and 4 maximums.

Apart from the fact that he hit a fifty on debut, which is genuinely remarkable, the first ball boundary off arguably one of the fastest bowlers in world Cricket, Jofra Archer, is even more astonishing. 

When Ishan reflected on the match, he revealed that it was Virat who advised him to hit the opening ball for a six in order to gain an upper hand over Archer.

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Ishan recalled the exchange from his 'Breakfast with Champions' interview with Gaurav Kapur, "I opened with KL [Rahul] bhai when he got out Kohli Bhai came. So when I was facing my first ball he was there. The first thing he said to me when [Jofra] Archer was bowling, 'look, there is no fielder there, hit him for a six.' I said, 'Umm, that's Archer.’”

"But the way he said it, I felt he was right. I should smash Archer, that's the zone I entered. And I got a boundary off the first ball. I was just happy about that, international first boundary Archer," he said.

Ishan also started his One-Day International career in a similar fashion, hitting a six and a four in his first two balls against Sri Lanka later in July of the same year.

"Before going out, I had said the first ball is going to be a six. People think that it's the first ball in international cricket, so let’s play it safe. But, I was thinking, time's have changed and it got to big. Then the next ball I hit for four. Shikhar Dhawan came up and said 'bro, what's the plan?' I just said I'm seeing the ball and hitting it," he said.




By Abhishek Ghan - 06 Apr, 2022

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