Virat bhai said ‘be prepared, you’re selected as an opener in India T20 World Cup team': MI batter Ishan Kishan
- Ishan Kishan is arguably one of the most attacking batsmen going around in Indian cricket and perhaps that is reason why India captain Virat Kohli is thinking of him as an opener in the T20 World Cup.
Mumbai Indians may have failed to qualify for the IPL 2021 playoffs but there is still a lot of excitement around MI players primarily because six of their squad-members are part of India's 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup beginning on October 17, two days after the IPL final. One of them is Ishan Kishan. The others - Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar - too are vital parts of the set-up but there is a different curiosity around Ishan Kishan.
The left-hander is arguably one of the most attacking batsmen going around in Indian cricket and perhaps that is reason why India captain Virat Kohli is thinking of him as an opener in the T20 World Cup.
Kishan, who slammed a 16-ball fifty in MI's last league match against SRH in Abu Dhabi on Friday, and finished with 84 off 32 balls, revealed that Kohli had told him to be prepared to open the batting for India in the upcoming ICC event.
"I would love to open and that's what Virat bhai said - 'you are selected as an opener, you just have to be prepared for that.' In the bigger stage, you need to be prepared for every situation I feel," Ishan Kishan told host broadcaster Star Sports after the game against SunRisers Hyderabad.
The Indian side has two designated openers in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul with Kohli himself being the third option - the captain has been opening regularly for RCB in this IPL.
But Kishan, who was going through a rough patch while batting in the middle order in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, immediately struck form, hitting back-to-back swashbuckling fifties after being promoted as an opener.
“A very good thing for me and for the team getting some runs, and getting into good touch before the World Cup. Was in a good state of mind, was very positive. We had to get somewhere around 250-260, it was the intent and positive intent,” Kishan said.
Mumbai won the match by 42 runs but it was not enough to take their NRR over Kolkata Knight Riders, who qualified as the fourth team after Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore for the playoffs.
"The one I smacked off Malik through the covers - that's the one (his favourite shot). In this tournament, you have to be prepared for every circumstances. It's important to be in the right mindset and you need to go with your best form," he said.
Kohli was seen having a long chat with Kishan last week, when the left-hander was dejected following a few low scores.
“I had a good chat with Virat bhai, Jasprit bhai also helped me. Even HP, KP were there to support me. Everyone supported me and they said it's a learning stage for you, make sure you learn from here and don't make the same mistakes in the upcoming world cup games. That was the part where I learned from them. I was just taking one point at a time,” he added.
Rohit Sharma also lavished praise on Ishan Kishan and said he batted the way Mumbai Indians wanted him to bat.
"But very happy with the win today; we gave everything, and I am sure it was entertaining for the fans too. [To the Mumbai fans] They have been the 12th man. They have always stood by us," said Rohit.
"Little disappointed we couldn't go through. Ishan Kishan is a very talented player, just the right position to bat is crucial. He just batted the way we want Ishan to," he signed off.