What's the story?
Gujarat Lions batsman Ishan Kishan has credited the former India captain MS Dhoni for his quickfire knock of 39 runs off just 16 balls that he played against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, an innings that put him in contention for a slot in the top order of the Lions batting lineup.
Much like his India U-19 teammate Rishab Pant, Kishan too has been a revelation of sorts, and although he doesn't have the numbers to show for his performances in this IPL, the talent that the youngster has is unquestionable.
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Chasing 213 runs for victory, after Brendon McCullum’s onslaught earlier in the innings, the Lions were propelled, albeit briefly, towards the target by the 18-year-old's blitzkrieg that included 2 fours and 4 sixes. However, the target proved out to be too good for the Lions as they ended up losing the game by 21 runs.
The heart of the matter
“Actually, while batting in the previous match, I had tried to follow Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s philosophy,” Kishan was quoted as saying by One India.
“We had Mahi in Jharkhand dressing room this season for a long time during the domestic season. He always advised all of us to exhibit natural batting even during a crisis. I tried to follow that advice in my previous innings against RCB.”
It must be reiterated here that Dhoni was appointed as the mentor of the Jharkhand state cricket team during the recently concluded domestic season. Jharkhand had their most successful Ranji Trophy season in 2016-17 wherein they reached the semi-finals, but lost to Gujarat.
However, the under-19 star wasn't happy with the result of the game. “How can I be happy? We could not win the match. That is the main thing for any cricketer in a team.”
When asked about the upcoming match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, he admitted that it would be difficult to play against a strong KKR bowling attack.
“Yes, they have bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine. But from my perspective, I can say, after having scored 39 runs (2×4, 4×6) off only 16 runs against RCB I have gained confidence. It will help me in tomorrow’s match.”
Kishan hailed Chris Woakes as the most potent and dangerous bowler in the KKR line-up but mentioned that following Dhoni's philosophy should get him runs against any bowling attack.
“Narine and Yadav are extremely good bowlers. But I feel the most dangerous bowler in KKR is Chris Woakes. Still, I will not look at who is bowling against me. I will go to the pitch and try to follow Mahi’s philosophy again by executing my natural batting.
“But at the same time, I will be happy if my team can beat KKR who are in tremendous form in the last couple of matches.”
While the Lions have a top-order-heavy batting line-up, they must find a way to accommodate the Jharkhand batsman at the top of the order, as that is where he is suited the best. The attacking style of batting that Kishan brings to the table could set any team's bowling attack off early in the innings.
As far as Dhoni's contribution is concerned, Kishan has justified the comments that his captain Suresh Raina made yesterday, wherein he said that players like Dhoni must always be respected. Dhoni continues to inspire the players both on and off the field and his contribution to Indian cricket can never be underestimated.