'Last year was a tipping point': Zaheer Khan all praise for MI's young wicketkeeper-batsman

  • Ishan Kishan had a fantastic IPL 2020 with MI, topping the run-getters chart for his team with 516 runs in 14 matches.
Zaheer Khan during a special Program in Pune, India, on Sunday, January 7, 2018. (Photo by Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)(HT Photo)
Zaheer Khan during a special Program in Pune, India, on Sunday, January 7, 2018. (Photo by Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)(HT Photo)
Published on Apr 13, 2021 10:59 AM IST
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Mumbai Indians' Director of Cricket Operation, Zaheer Khan, on Monday remarked that the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was a tipping point in Ishan Kishan's career and the left-handed batsman has just flourished from there.

Ishan Kishan had a fantastic IPL 2020 with MI, topping the run-getters chart for his team with 516 runs in 14 matches. He smashed four fifties in the tournament and finished with a stellar strike-rate of 145.76.

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"Ishan Kishan is looking assured, he is looking calmer. When you are growing as a cricketer, you are trying to make that impact at the highest level, you have that tipping point. The last year was a tipping point for Ishan when he played that knock against RCB, he just flourished from there, he is in the same zone, he is going about his business, he is making sure that he is continuing his processes and spending enough time in the nets," said Zaheer during a virtual press conference on Monday.

Kishan until IPL 2020, had never scored more than 300 runs in a single IPL season. But when he did, he made sure everyone took notice.

Since IPL 2020, he has only seen his graph experience a sharp rise. In the 2021 Vijay Hazare trophy, the Jharkhand captain played a blistering knock of 173 not out from 94 balls in an Elite Group B match against Madhya Pradesh. He smashed 19 sixes and 11 fours and registered the third-highest score by a wicketkeeper-batsman in List A cricket.

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A few weeks later, he made his debut for India in the T20I series against England at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad. Once again, he didn't disappoint as he scored a fifty on his debut. In the 2nd match of the series, the southpaw scored 56 runs off 32 balls.

Former India and MI pacer Zaheer also added that allowing players to play their natural game is good for them, the team and the game.

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"Well, I think giving them freedom to express themselves is very important. As a setup, we encourage that and we encourage each and every individual to bring out their original self in the middle. When you do not have that clatter of thought, you are able to express yourself freely. We do have healthy discussions around what they can add to their game, as cricketers, you always look to evolve yourself to try and understand the game better. We try hard, we are lucky enough to have a squad in hand who keep pushing the boundaries," said Zaheer.

Mumbai Indians lost their opening IPL 2021 game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Friday and now the side would lock horns against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Tuesday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

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Monday, November 29, 2021