Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Ishan Kishan And The 15.25 Crore Price Tag – Can Opener Ever Repay Mumbai Indians Faith? 

Was the Mumbai Indians management responsible for Ishan Kishan's lack of batting consistency in IPL 2022? 

Ishan Kishan And The 15.25 Crore Price Tag – Can Opener Ever Repay Mumbai Indians Faith? 
Mumbai Indians opener Ishan Kishan's natural flair was missing this season in IPL. IPL

A mind-boggling INR 15.25 crore for a 23-year-old player! When Mumbai Indians shelled out that big amount for Ishan Kishan in the IPL auctions 2022, it looked like a long-term investment, but Ishan’s returns in IPL 2022 have been poor.

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The bid from Mumbai Indians made the Bihar-born Ishan Kishan the second most expensive player sold in the history of IPL auction, but the burden of expectations that followed put him under the pump.

“If someone said to me that Mumbai Indians will walk out with Ishan Kishan and Jofra Archer after the auction, I wouldn’t have believed it," said a happy owner Akash Ambani after the IPL auctions.

While Archer, for whom Mumbai Indians splurged INR 8 crore, pulled out of IPL 2022, Ishan Kishan has had a scratchy season, far from the belief MI had on the young batsman.

With 321 runs across 11 games at an average of 32.10 and a poor strike rate of 117.15, Ishan Kishan has not justified his price tag.

Of course, his additional wicketkeeping ability was a reason that propelled MI to invest a big amount on him, but the side must have expected a better batting performance from the spunky left-hander.

"The pressure of the price tag will be on you for a maximum of 1-2 days after the auction. But at this level, you have to understand that I can’t keep such things in mind and I only have to focus on how to help my team win,” said the young opener on Wednesday.

"I feel very light. I am not even thinking about the price tag, it is secondary for me. Even when you are not in form, you have to think of how you can help other players flourish."

Lack Of Role Clarity 

More than taking the innings deep, a batsman of Ishan Kishan’s caliber is known for his impact on a game with quick-fire knocks. He has always thrived as a free-stroking batsman without the pressure of keeping his wicket. But IPL 2022 has been different. 

Ishan started IPL 2022 as a permanent opener for Mumbai Indians and scored 81 not out and 54 in the first two games, but the poor form of his fellow batsman and captain Rohit Sharma certainly left a lot for him to do.

The absence of Quinton de Kock also mattered. The South African, now part of the Lucknow Super Giants franchise, opened the Mumbai Indians innings and more often than not laid a good foundation for the team.

In IPL 2022, senior batsman Rohit Sharma has failed to play the anchor role. Effectively, it shackled the expressive Ishan Kishan, who switched to a more defensive approach.

“When I started the tournament, my focus was on giving good start to the team, but later on when I was trying to finish the game and do the job what others were supposed to do, maybe I lost my focus in the first six overs,” said Ishan Kishan.

Rohit Sharma's poor form also had an impact on Ishan Kishan's batting.
Rohit Sharma's poor form also had an impact on Ishan Kishan's batting. (Twitter/@IPL)

“I had a chat with the captain and the coach also so they said if you just give us a good start, you don’t have to think about finishing the game. So right now my focus is on just giving good start,” he added.

A clearer picture of what Mumbai Indians wants from him might have helped Ishan Kishan as he scored 45 and 51 in recent games. These knocks came after Ishan scored only 90 runs in the preceding seven games at an average of 12.85.

What Is Ailing Ishan Kishan?

It is certainly the lack of clarity of his role that has affected Ishan Kishan’s performance after the first two games in IPL 2022.

A year ago Mahela Jayawardene had revealed that Ishan Kishan is a player who should not think much and play his natural game. If he puts more stress, his game gets affected.

“The more he thinks, the more he gets into trouble. Like his state coach was saying, sometimes he tends to make easy situations tough because he sometimes overthinks unnecessarily,” Jayawardene was quoted as saying.

Another big reason of Ishan Kishan’s poor form has been the lack of support from the other Mumbai Indians batters. Barring the likes of Tilak Varma and Suryakumar Yadav, who has now been ruled out of the season, MI’s batting has been a pure flop in IPL 2022.

The third and certainly the biggest problem for Ishan Kishan is the lack of consistency. No doubt he has shown sparks of brilliance in IPL since his maiden season in 2016, consistency is something he has lacked over the years. When he plays well Ishan scores wonderful knocks but when he fails, he fails miserably!

Besides being consistent, what Ishan Kishan needs is to stick to is the fearless brand of cricket he has been playing over the years. Batsmen like him and Rishabh Pant are at their best, when they do what they do.

Ishan Kishan, who is the son of a builder, holds an experience of 46 first-class games, alongside playing 80 matches in List A and 126 in the shortest format. He plays for Jharkhand in the domestic circuit.

He has also played 13 international games for India, besides leading the nation in the U-19 World Cup in 2016 where the team lost to West Indies in the final

Ishan Kishan has age on his side and he is part of a top franchise that believes in building for the future. For Ishan, there will be no short cut to stardom.


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