India may have started off the five-match T20I series against South Africa with a loss but there were positives in the way they batted on a tricky first innings surface. One of them being Ishan Kishan, who scored 76 off 48 deliveries.
The 23-year old who had an average IPL 2022 with Mumbai Indians helped India set a base for a big first innings total, the highest in T20Is at Kotla. At the start of the innings though, runs didn’t come by smoothly for the Indian opener.
“I think initially we knew that the wicket is not easy to get going and it will be tough for the batsman coming after me,” Kishan said. “My plan was just to target the loose balls because in a T20 game the powerplay is also very important and we needed to put pressure on the bowlers.”
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A superb batting show by #TeamIndia to post 211/4 on the board. 💪 💪
Over to our bowlers now. 👍 👍
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 9, 2022
It was pivotal that Kishan, and his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad, got runs in the powerplay. Despite pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje presenting challenges with the ball, Kishan kept finding ways to get a boundary every now and then. Gaikwad and Kishan added 51 runs during the Powerplay.
“They have done so well for their country,” Kishan said about Rabada and Nortje. “My plan was to just keep them on the backfoot, keep playing my shots so that they are also thinking and they move their line and length.” Kishan was also asked about how he goes about his T20I batting, given that full-time captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul might be India’s first choice openers in the format.
“I think they are world class players and I won’t ask for my spot when they are there in the team,” he said.
“They have scored so many runs for our country. I’ll keep doing my thing. It’s upto selectors or coaches, whatever they think. My job is to whenever I get the chance, I’ll do my best.”
Kishan was India’s highest run-scorer on the night, scoring his third T20I fifty in his 11th outing for India. Having started the series well with the bat, with one eye on the T20 World Cup later this year, Kishan would look to extract the most from the remaining four games.