Ishan Kishan backs his natural game

Ishan Kishan, the newest addition to the MI family, was one of the most sought-after youngsters in the VIVO IPL 2018 auction. There were other teams who were battling with Mumbai Indians to get this player in their squad, but our persistence got us a talented opening batsman, who’s explosive in nature and is the perfect addition to our squad. Talking about his schedule, the former India U19 captain already has a busy calendar before he joins the MI squad. He’s playing one-day matches in Hyderabad till the end of this month as he will be aiming for sharpening his skills before he steps in at the Wankhede Stadium. He thinks Mumbai Indians is a team perfect for any youngster and his excitement to join the squad can be justified by the quality of support staff and the dressing room environment.

“The officials, the supporting staff is really good here. Senior players are very good who are always ready to support the youngsters. As a youngster, I think I’ll get a lot to learn from here. It’s a very plus point for me. The team has a great environment which is great for anyone. Unity is really good of this team. I think this is the best team.”

Ishan is a youngster with a lot of ambition. He believes in learning from the masters and this process of learning should never end. He has domestic cricket for Jharkhand and IPL for Gujarat Lions, and in that period, the lessons learnt from seniors like MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina proved crucial for him.

“Whatever experience I’ve gained in the last two seasons, I’ve learned that you need to back yourselves, you’ve to play on your strength. I played a lot of knocks where I made 40-odd runs last year. That is one thing I need to improve on. I need to convert those 30s and 40s into at least 70s when I play for Mumbai Indians.”

He’s an opener and will be playing alongside Rohit Sharma and Evin Lewis. This fact has made him even more excited to start the campaign. Talking about Rohit Sharma, he said, “Everyone knows how good a batsman he is, he is known as ‘The Hitman’ so obviously, I’ll be very happy to bat alongside him.” He has his own methods of learning and he doesn’t want to miss out on any opportunity to learn from the ace batsman. “If I’m at the non-striker’s end, I can learn a lot by observing his batting from the other end. I’ll get a chance to interact with him individually before the matches. I’ll discuss my work ethics with him. Obviously, I’ll learn a lot and more than that, I’ll enjoy batting with him.”

Talking about the support staff at Mumbai Indians, Ishan was genuinely impressed with the work style of the team. With Mahela Jayawardene as a coach and Sachin Tendulkar as a mentor, there wouldn’t be any young batsman who’d not be excited to join the team.

“These are people who can improve your overall game. There’s no better coaching staff than this. It’s a plus point for not only youngsters, but even the renowned and experienced players are also learning from them. There’s no greater joy than meeting Sachin sir individually and asking him for tips. I can’t wait for that actually!”

The support for Mumbai Indians is incredible all over the country. Ishan has witnessed that craze since he began watching the IPL as a kid. Fans’ support is extremely crucial for any player to improve and Mumbai Indians were never short of that support. As a result, playing at Wankhede Stadium is an occasion he’s looking forward to.

“Talking about Wankhede, I think the pitch is really good. The crowd support for the home team is extraordinary. MI is the one franchise which has fans all around the country. The supporters are everywhere. Even in Gujarat too, when MI played, there were times when the MI supporters were more than the home supporters. I think they love Mumbai Indians. They want their team to win. It’ll be a great feeling that there’ll be lot of people cheering for you.”

Ishan was just a kid when the inaugural IPL happened in 2008. His journey from watching the IPL on television to becoming a cricketer being watched on the television, has been quite incredible. He knows how the game has evolved in past 10 years and he is well-aware of its importance.

“It’s a great platform for youngsters. You get to play matches. You’re being watched by the country and the selectors are keeping an eye on your performance. If you perform well, it’s noticed. So, it’s a great platform where the performances of youngsters are valued and where you learn a lot from the big players, big officials, legends and at the same time, it’s a lot of fun and a great experience.”

Clearly, there was some reason why Ishan was in such a high demand at auctions. He can be a player who can set the tone for the batting innings. By getting quick runs in the first overs, he can set a platform for middle order and help build a high scoring innings. It is just a matter of time till he delivers some memorable innings and become a fan favorite at Mumbai Indians.

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