Ishan Kishan careful not to show ‘youngsters’ trait’ as he begins Test career

Ishan Kishan careful not to show ‘youngsters’ trait’ as he begins Test career

Ishan Kishan is known for his big shots. He loves them so much he went to hit boundaries with the very first balls he played in ODI and T20I cricket. But now, having been brought into India’s Test squad, he knows the importance of playing within himself and not succumbing to what he called “youngsters’ trait”.

Speaking to team-mate Shubman Gill on the BCCI website, Kishan said, “I do think about [hitting] fours and sixes but there is a lot of difference in white-ball and red-ball cricket. In white-ball, if you walk out to bat at no. 6 there is no swing. But with the red ball, bowlers use the swing and you have to use your brain instead of showing your youngsters’ trait.”

India will not have their first-choice wicketkeeper for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series against Australia with Rishabh Pant in rehab following a serious car crash. So they face a choice between his longtime understudy Srikar Bharat, one of the safest hands behind the stumps in the country, and Kishan, among the most attacking batters they have, although he has recognised that he may need to temper his game to succeed in the longest format.

“With experience, I know it is not about fours and sixes [in red-ball cricket] but about getting the team in a good situation,” Kishan said. “If the ball is in my zone and the field is up then I will try. But if the bowling is good, I will look to respect it.

“I think the position where I bat – at No. 6 – in the longer format, it is very important [for me] to read the situation. If we are not in a good situation and if I play a rash shot, it will let the team down.”

After the men’s T20 World Cup last year, Kishan toured New Zealand with the T20I squad and played just the one ODI in Bangladesh – where he cracked a double-hundred. He opened the batting in the T20Is at home against Sri Lanka but could not find a spot in the XI in the ODIs. Along the way, he also represented Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy, where he hit a century against Kerala walking in at No. 6.

Kishan said he liked playing against the red-ball and the challenges it brings along. “When I was playing white-ball cricket, my father used to say Tests are the real deal where the batter is challenged and their skill is put to test. It is a big deal to play Test cricket. When I got to know of my selection in India’s Test squad I was elated and called home [to give the news], because there are so many good players… Test cricket is considered to bring out your real skill and real game. I will try to win games for India if given a chance.

“I love playing with the red ball. There is a bit of swing, there is sledging and lots of time [there is] no pressure to score runs. The situations are sometimes easy and sometimes tough. So I enjoy all those scenarios in Ranji Trophy.”


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