In the past few years, a number of young players have entered the Indian national cricket circuit. The first name that probably comes to mind is that of Rishabh Pant, the diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman who has been performing extremely well in the past few series across different formats. The other name, which has been circulating among the critics and fans of cricket for some time, has been Ishan Kishan.
Ishan Kishan made his international debut recently in the second T20I match that was held between India and England on Sunday, the 14th of March at the Motera Stadium of Ahmedabad. He opened the innings and scored a vital 56 off 32 balls. His innings was studded with five fours and four sixes and he put together a vital partnership of 94 runs with the skipper of the Indian team, Virat Kohli, who top-scored the Indian innings with 73 runs. Kishan has been a household name in the T20 circuit now and has been a crucial player for the Mumbai Indians.
Let us have a look at the journey of this young player from Bihar and see how he made it to the Indian team.
Performance In The IPL
Ishan Kishan has always been known for being a hard-hitting batsman. His performance in the rescheduled IPL 2020, which was held in the United Arab Emirates due to pandemic-related concerns, has grabbed the attention of many. He scored a total of 516 runs from 14 matches with an enviable average of 57. He certainly played a big role in Mumbai Indians winning the IPL trophy in 2020. Due to his excellent performance, he was included in the T20I squad of India to face England in a five-match series. This was the second series the two teams were facing off in the England tour of India.
In The Indian Team
The left-handed batsman replaced Shikhar Dhawan in the top order in the second match of the T20I series. Shikhar Dhawan is a well-known T20 player and Kishan had big shoes to fill. The pitch was a bit difficult to play on due to its dryness and the ball was not coming to the bat properly. Despite the adversities, Kishan was able to stitch a vital partnership of 94 runs with Kohli and played the role of an aggressor. Not for a single moment did he look out of place or troubled. His performance has garnered the praise and appreciation of multiple fans and critics, including the legendary Indian swashbuckling batsman Virender Sehwag.
Sehwag praised Ishan Kishan profusely, saying that he was quite impressed by Kishan’s fearless approach. Sehwag himself was also known for his fearless approach in batting. He pointed out that at no point of time did Kishan look like he was not batting in an IPL match. He showed no signs of nervousness that a debutant would generally show in international cricket. This actually took the pressure off the other players lower down in the batting order and helped the team immensely. India, of course, ended up winning the match. Kishan was only the second Indian after Ajinkya Rahane to score a half-century in his T20I debut. Rahane had scored 61 off 39 balls with eight boundaries on his debut.
T20I World Cup Chances
Kishan does have chances to qualify to the Indian team for the T20I World Cup, which is scheduled to be held later this year in India. The former India U-19 team captain does not have an easy path though. There are other good players like Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyad Iyer who are eyeing spots in the T20I World Cup squad. Both Iyer and Dhawan are older than Kishan and have been around for longer. Both have good records in T20 matches. However, none of them are in the same form as Ishan Kishan now. Kishan is also better equipped to handle fast bowling than them. There are also other players like Suryakumar Yadav who are equally good hitters vying for a spot in the World Cup squad.
The already discussed various factors might question Kishan’s inclusion in the World Cup squad. However, one thing needs to be remembered. Ishan Kishan is a young batsman who is in the best of his form now. He does deserve chances in the upcoming matches leading to the World Cup. As a testament to his skills, he does make a strong case for his inclusion in the T20I World Cup squad. Fans would be expecting good performances from him, given the way he has started his journey in international cricket.