With KL Rahul unavailable for ODIs against New Zealand due to personal reasons and Shreyas Iyer out due to back injury, Ishan Kishan has got a chance to showcase his abilities in the middle-order, a fact which he himself knows very well.
“I think overall it’s a good opportunity for me also, to prove myself in the middle order. I know most of them think that I am good as an opener, to go there and show some aggressive batting.”
“But at the same time, I want to prove myself. Here also, when I am batting at no. 4 or 5, where I can take the team out of tough situations or if we are in a good situation maybe I can go and play my shots. So it’s a good opportunity for me overall,” said Kishan on ‘Follow The Blues’ show on Star Sports.
When Kishan played ODIs last time, he had scored a sensational 210 while opening the innings against Bangladesh at Chattogram in December 2022. Many expected Kishan to open the batting in India’s 3-0 series triumph over Sri Lanka, but with a consistent Shubman Gill preferred to be Rohit Sharma’s partner, his exclusion raised many eyebrows.
“I think yes, I did score 200, and that was important too in the series as it was the last match and we lost the series against Bangladesh and then not getting a chance here, obviously it hurts a bit. But at the same time, you can’t ignore the fact what Shubman Gill and Rohit bhai has done for India over the years or for Shubman over the series he has played. He has done very well for the team.”
“So, I can’t just go there and ask for my spot, that I want to open, because we know how many players are there, how much competition is going on. Everyone is doing well for the team, so at the same time now, me getting this opportunity to bat in the middle order, I’ll try and give my best shot, play my best game, take the team out of any situation and maybe I can make my team win from that situation,” added Kishan on not being given a chance against Sri Lanka.
Asked about his preparations for the first ODI in Hyderabad against New Zealand, Kishan, who has batted in the middle order three times previously in the format, remarked his focus has been on improving strike rotation and playing along the ground shots.
“Obviously, looking at their bowling attack I feel that they are a very planned team. Whenever we play against New Zealand, they keep a certain kind of field set for every player and they bowl according to that. So, now when we were practicing in the nets I had a chat with few players of how to focus on keeping a single rotation together and at the same time I have to play those good grounded shots also.”
“When you know that we are two down or three down, how do I keep the team on a positive note. Because we can’t go in a shell in any situation, if we lose wickets too early, we can’t let the other team dominate us. So it depends a lot on practice too, according to how we practice. So, my intent is to focus on how I take the singles and at the same time I am getting those good boundaries in the grounded shots too.”