Watching videos of his old knocks helped Ishan Kishan rediscover touch

Watching videos of his own batting last season gave out-of-form opener Ishan Kishan the much-needed confidence to overcome the bad patch he was going through in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

The fact that his poor form ahead of the T20 World Cup was becoming a matter of concern for the Indian team management was evident in the lengthy chat skipper Virat Kohli had with him after the recent match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. Kishan is in the 15-member squad picked for the T20 World Cup, set to start in UAE and Oman in a couple of weeks.

Kishan also had a chat with Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and Kieron Pollard, who advised him to watch his knocks in the previous season, as the Mumbai Indians dropped him for their previous match.

“I had a chat with KP (Pollard) who said you just need to keep things simple, bat the way you used to do, just watch the videos of what you did in the last season. I watched a few videos of my batting and that gave me a bit of confidence,” said Kishan on Tuesday.

Having gained some confidence, Kishan struck a brilliant unbeaten half-century in the eight-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.

Kishan scored 50 off 25 deliveries, helping Mumbai chase a paltry target of 91 with 70 deliveries to spare. A sensational bowling performance by Nathan Coulter-Nile (4/14) and James Neesham (3/12) helped Mumbai Indians restrict Rajasthan Royals to a paltry total of 90-9.

Kishan, who batted down the order in previous matches in UAE, opened the innings with Rohit Sharma and played aggressively from the start, hitting a few scintillating shots in the process.

“It’s nice to be back opening and getting runs for the team and helping win by a big margin. Feeling really good, was much needed for our team to get momentum,” said the 23-year-old born in Patna, Bihar, who represents Jharkhand at the domestic level.

He said it was good to field first in this match as it gave them a good idea about the pitch while chasing the small score.

“It was good to field first, got a good idea of the surface. Our plan was to play as straight as possible. Just play in the V was the plan and the batsmen executed really well,” he said.

Kishan said his recent run of poor scores was just something every batsman goes through at times in his life. “I feel ups and downs are a big part of any sportsman. I was also not in good shape. Most of the batters were not getting runs like in previous seasons. We had great support staff. Our captain…In fact, I had a chat with Virat bhai, Hardik bhai..everyone was there to support me,” said Kishan during the post-match ceremony on Tuesday.

He said Mumbai Indians are not thinking ahead of themselves and want to do well in the next match too.

“There is talk of us wanting KKR to lose the next game and us winning our next game (smiles), but that is way ahead now. We just have to prepare for our next game. Need to play with the same energy today. Looking forward to doing this again in the next game,” he added.