Got to learn a lot from MS Dhoni while playing for Jharkhand: Ishan Kishan to India Today

first_imgPushed and rotated down the order in first four games by the Gujarat Lions, Ishan Kishan is much relieved to finally open the innings, a slot he bats on while playing for Jharkhand in domestic cricket.   From No 4 to 7, the Gujarat Lions team management experimented with the 18-year-old on all four batting positions in the first four games of the season. The talented youngster could only muster a total of 54 runs from three outings, which included a 16-ball 39 against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.Now, back in his usual opening role, the left-hander has responded with two 30-plus knocks in the last two matches.”I have to make most of this big opportunity. The team combination was such that I was batting lower down the order. But, I never thought that it is not my slot. I wanted to perform in whatever role was assigned to me. Now, opening the innings with someone like Brendon McCullum, is a big thing for a youngster like me,” Kishan told INDIA TODAY.Much before he rubbed shoulders with international stars in this year’s IPL, the Ranchi lad, just like the rest of his state team players, was lucky to have the company of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the dressing room this domestic season.It turned out to be a perfect preparation for the T20 extravaganza.”When you have someone like MSD in your dressing room, there is no need to ask for anything else. I got to learn so much from him while playing for Jharkhand this season. Batting alongside in the nets, he used to tell us about all aspects of the game. It helped me a lot while batting in a pressure situation during the IPL with more than 40,000 people present in the stadium,” says Kishan.advertisementNearing 36, Dhoni can still give many youngsters a run for their money when it comes to testing fitness levels. Kishan is hugely inspired with the way former India skipper manages his body.”What he (Dhoni) stresses most on is about maintaining a good fitness level. He told me that if you are not working on your fitness then it will eventually affect your game a lot. I used to always concentrate only on bating and bowling earlier. If you look at our team’s showing this season, Jharkhand did well in every format. It was all due to the superb fitness level maintained by the players. We were putting the same kind of effort in our eighth Ranji game as we had put in the very first one.”Another India great who has had a huge impact on the wicketkeeper-batsman is Rahul Dravid, also the national Under-19 team coach.”During the World Cup, Dravid Sir was our coach. He told me about the mistakes I was making and all the technicalities. He also told us about the player-owner relationship in the IPL, about how much confidence a player gets if his owner supports him. It has really helped me a lot.”With his U-19 mates Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson having already made their India debuts, Kishan knows that the opportunity will come knocking his door as well.”It is really a good competition (amongst youngsters), they are doing really well too. But, I don’t want to think about them. I keep telling myself to get better with each game. That is what I want to focus on right now.”last_img

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