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  5. IND vs SL 1st T20I: Ishan Kishan credits Rohit Sharma for his batting turnaround

IND vs SL 1st T20I: Ishan Kishan credits Rohit Sharma for his batting turnaround

The left-hander, who failed to capitalise on his starts against the West Indies, finally lived up to his Rs 15.25 crore IPL tag with a whirlwind 56-ball 89 in India's 62-run win over Sri Lanka.

India TV Sports Desk Edited by: India TV Sports Desk Lucknow Published on: February 25, 2022 12:58 IST
India's Kishan credited his skipper Rohit Sharma for his batting turnaround.
Image Source : TWITTER/BCCI

India's Kishan credited his skipper Rohit Sharma for his batting turnaround during the T20 series against Sri Lanka 2022. (File photo)

Struggling for fluency in the previous series, young opener Ishan Kishan has credited India skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid for his return to form in the first T20 against Sri Lanka.

The left-hander, who failed to capitalise on his starts against the West Indies, finally lived up to his Rs 15.25 crore IPL tag with a whirlwind 56-ball 89 in India's 62-run win over Sri Lanka on Thursday.

"Always a senior player would want a youngster to be in a good headspace. Be it (coach) Rahul (Dravid) bhai, Virat (Kohli) bhai or Rohit bhai, they all have passed this phase. They are aware of how we feel when we don't perform well," Ishan said at the post-match media interaction.

"I didn't do well against the West Indies. They always told me that they know about my talent and what I can do for the team. 'We trust in you. Never ever you think that we are doubting your abilities'.

"They always help you out with small, small things be it your batting grip or the attacking mindset."

The wicketkeeper-batter, who was bought back by Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians at the recent IPL auction, scored just 71 runs in three matches at a poor strike rate of 85.54.

But skipper Rohit kept his faith in Ishan's abilities and retained him as an opener for the opener against Sri Lanka.

"After playing so much cricket, you get used to the situation. Tough times will come but it's very important to be in the situation. You don't get too excited when you score runs.

"Same goes when you don't perform. So you need to be in a very good space. You need to talk to your seniors, because they are much more experienced than us. So it's very helpful when I sit with Rohit bhai for a conversation," added the 23-year-old, who scored his second T20I fifty.

Key was to rotate strike

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Ishan revealed how Rohit helped him out at the nets to overcome his shortcomings to rotate the strike and take quick singles.

"He (Rohit Sharma) always keeps telling me that 'you can hit whenever you go out there in the middle. The important thing for me where I was erring was about rotating the strikes, and taking singles

"Obviously he has helped me out in those areas, especially when I'm batting at the nets. He keeps telling me to try how to rotate the strike. 'You can hit anyway, but it's about rotating the strike and keeping the bowlers under pressure', he would say.

"When you get their full support, our job is to continue our disciplined life, be it the fitness, homework, or batting pattern we just have to continue."

Ishan further said he's blessed to have so many senior cricketers in the dressing room as they keep showing him the way.

"Senior players always help you out. It's not always about hitting hard, it's about going there and playing with the bowlers' mind and how to put him under pressure if he's bowling well at that point of time."

Ishan has been promoted up the order in absence of regular opener KL Rahul (hamstring injury).

"When you come to a level like this, playing for the Indian team, you have to be ready for every opportunity you get because there are so many players performing well and you cannot ask that coach I want to open or so...

"...It's not just that you go there and you get to open, you have to wait for your time but when you get it, you have to capitalise on it," he added.

India had earlier endured six losses batting first from nine matches from the period of March 2021 till their loss to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup where toss also played a key role for the Virat Kohli-led side.

India's change in approach paying dividends

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Now after their win against Sri Lanka, India coasted to 10 successive wins in T20I including five while batting first.

"We have been very predictable in the games against big teams and thought much about keeping our wickets for the slog overs," said Ishan about the change in batting approach.

"All of us are so talented, we have shots in our pockets, the captain and coach believe in us, like what we have done in the IPL and important matches. So the meetings were obviously about this and our approach is simple -- to go out there and express ourselves.

"If the ball is there then we need to go for it rather than taking a single and waiting for the bowler to come. It's nothing like you have to take chances on a very good ball.

"But at this platform, I think it's very important that you have to move towards the ball, you have to step out, keep the bowler thinking. So that's the important thing that we are focusing on, rather than standing at one place and batting, we need to keep moving and put the bowler under pressure," he concluded.

(Reported by PTI)

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