Ishan Kishan is a top-order batter. All through 2023, the Jharkhand cricketer played in the top order for India. Even his double hundred against Bangladesh in December 2022 had come while opening the innings. Kishan came in to the India’s Asia Cup squad as second-choice wicketkeeper. With KL Rahul still recovering from his injury and ruled out of the first two matches of the tournament, Kishan was clearly the first choice wicketkeeper and batter now against Pakistan. But because there was no space in the top order, Kishan had to now bat at No 5, something which he had never done for India in this format.
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The Bihar-born cricketer did not see the demotion to No 5 as a setback. He saw it as a challenge. He saw it as an opportunity. He saw it as another way to keep representing India. To keep winning games for the country. That mindset helped him smash 82 vs Pakistan in India’s Asia Cup opener on Saturday, September 2. This 82 could have been a hundred. But like his girlfriend Aditi Hundia put it on her Instagram innings, it was a ‘Dream Innings’. It was, indeed, one.
Top quality from Ishan Kishan who has been consistent in the opportunities he has got , 4th succesive half century and under pressure.
And Hardik showing great maturity and thriving under pressure. Good effort to get to 266 after being 66/4, but ohh the DLS . #INDvsPAK pic.twitter.com/LsUpuwzYQC— Venkatesh Prasad (@venkateshprasad) September 2, 2023
A day before the India vs Pakistan clash, Ishan receieved a text from his old friend. Satyam Kumar and Monu Kumar were Ishan’s two roommates when he moved to Ranchi’s Sports Authority of India hostel from Bihar to hone his cricketing skills. They were both like elder brothers to Ishan and helped him learn the life skills while he worked hard to improve as cricketer in the nets and on 22 yards.
Satyam asked Ishan where he was batting in the Pakistan clash. Ishan informed him, he was batting at No 5. Knowing that this batting position is unfamiliar to him, Satyam dialled up Ishan to motivate him. But Ishan was already pumped to prove he was good enough in the middle order. Ishan told Satyam over the phone call, “Fight karenge bhaiya… scoring against Pakistan at No 5 might prove to be a game-changer for me.” Satyam revealed this conversation and more to Indian Express.
With nine boundaries and two sixes, Ishan stroked a fighting 82, which helped India recover from a dismal position of 66 for 4 in the game. India eventually posted 266 on the board but the match was washed out and Pakistan could not even come out chase the target.
Satyam also spoke of how cricketers from Ranchi and Bihar may not be very pleasing to the eyes but they are very destructive, like MS Dhoni and Ishan Kishan. That is because of playing lots of cricket on the matting wicket as one could find the turf wickets very rarely in Bihar and Jharkhand before 2013.
Ishan had moved from Patna to Ranchi because BCCI and Bihar Cricket Association had a registration issue. A senior cricketer had advised Kishan to shift his base to Ranchi in order to continue chasing his dream of playing international cricket for India.