Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli had encouraging words for young Mumbai Indians player Ishan Kishan, who is struggling for form in this edition of the Indian Premier League, after his side's 54-run win against the five-time champions here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Patna lad, who has been a prolific run-getter in domestic cricket, scoring more than 2,500 runs in First-Class cricket and another 2500-plus run in List A games, has not quite clicked for the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians this season and was dismissed for just nine runs in the match against RCB on Sunday.
Soon after the match, Kohli put his arm around Kishan's shoulders and had some encouraging words to say to the youngster who has scored 34 runs in three innings in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 so far.
Kishan has managed just 107 runs from eight games so far this season with an average of 13.37 and a strike rate of 86.99. During the previous edition of the IPL held in Dubai, he had scored 516 runs at an average of over 57 as Mumbai Indians went on to clinch their fifth IPL title.
Thanks to his IPL form last year, Kishan went on to make his T20Is debut against England at home and scored 80 runs in three games, including a fifty. During the One-day International series against Sri Lanka under coach Rahul Dravid he scored a 59 in one match in Colombo.
In fact, during the post-match press conference, Mumbai Indians skipper and India vice-captain Rohit Sharma too played down concerns over Kishan's form, saying, "We need to bounce back from whatever situation we're in. We've done that in the past. It's just not happening this season. Ishan Kishan is a talented player. He had a terrific IPL last year. We want to back his natural game which is why he came up the order above Surya. I don't want to put too much pressure on the guy. He's relatively young, making his way in international cricket."