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IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians Star Ishan Kishan Learnt Tricks of the Trade From MS Dhoni

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: April 23, 2018, 1:32 PM IST
IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians Star Ishan Kishan Learnt Tricks of the Trade From MS Dhoni

Ishan Kishan (BCCI)

New Delhi: Ishan Kishan has been a revelation for Mumbai Indians in this edition of the Indian Premier League with the defending champions looking to use the diminutive Jharkhand batsman not just as the first down batsman, but his wicket-keeping skills has also ensured that the MI management has been able to play an extra batsman or bowler according to the situation.

But more than the performance, it is the fitness that the youngster has shown batting at No.3 and also keeping wickets which is what has impressed all. He has amassed 151 runs in the 5 games so far at an average of 30.20, but a strike rate of 145.19 with a fifty against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday. Along with that, he has also picked 3 catches and effected 2 stumpings.

And while he has made an impact this season for Mumbai Indians, the journey started back in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season for Jharkhand when he rubbed shoulders with none other than former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Ishan amassed 799 runs in 10 games that season at an average of 57.07. And speaking to CricketNext, the former India U-19 skipper had said that it was Dhoni who made him work on his attitude at the crease.

“Dhoni bhai saw me at the nets and walked up to me and said that I needed to curtail my attacking instincts to begin with. He believed that to play a long innings I needed to be a little more compact and I did just that. He asked me to change my stance as well and when it comes from someone like Dhoni bhai, you know you can trust his observation.

“I got time to rework my stance and train with my new stance during the camp ahead of the season and I realised that I was feeling a lot better at the crease. I have maintained that stance since and I have seen that it has enhanced my batting,” he said.

While batting and bowling is something that every cricketer works on, fitness isn’t something that players, especially in India, are known to focus on till they reach the international level. In fact, the Yo-Yo test has been made into a big deal ever since India skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri made it clear that a cricketer needed to clear the fitness test before he could be a part of the team.

But for Ishan, the reality check came when Dhoni arranged for a fitness camp. And Kishan says it was the best thing to have happened as it gave him a test of the challenges that lay ahead when one plays day-in and day-out in a high-intense tournament like the IPL.

“Dhoni bhai puts a lot of emphasis on fitness. As we all know, he loves to stay at the top of his fitness level. And this time, he ensured that we also worked on our fitness at the start of the season. It was obviously something that wasn’t too common with the domestic teams, but the experience was out of the world,” he revealed.

While the 2017-18 season of the Ranji Trophy did not really go as per plan for Ishan as he managed to get starts, but failed to turn them into big scores — he scored 484 runs in 6 games with 4 fifties — this season of the IPL has actually been a breakthrough season for the Jharkhand player as he has managed to become a household name just after five games. And the credit clearly goes to the Man with a Midas touch as he gave Ishan the push and direction that he needed after a not so successful showing in the 2016 U-19 World Cup where the Indian team finished runners-up.

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First Published: April 23, 2018, 1:29 PM IST

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