WATCH – Ishan Kishan starts off ODI career with a maximum against Sri Lanka


India’s promising young wicketkeeper-batsman, Ishan Kishan, started off his ODI career in spectacular fashion, hitting a six on his very first ball at the crease against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday (July 18).

Kishan smashed Sri Lankan off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva for a six over long-on on the fourth ball of the sixth over in the Indian run-chase. Unfazed that De Silva is spinning it away from his bat, Kishan hit him down the ground with full conviction to get his innings going with a bang.

A naturally aggressive player, who has been an integral part of five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians (MI), Ishan Kishan had also got his T20I career for India started with a boundary in Ahmedabad in March against England when he had flicked Jofra Archer for four runs.

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Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan had a breakthrough IPL 2020 with Mumbai Indians (MI)

Ishan Kishan scores impressive fifty on ODI debut in Colombo

As he did on his T20I debut, Kishan went on to blaze a freeflowing half-century in his first ODI outing as well. His attacking knock of 59 off 42 balls at the R Premadasa featured 8 fours and 2 sixes as he carried forward the momentum that India had swung their way via Prithvi Shaw’s memorable 43 off 24 deliveries.

Kishan’s promotion to No.3 in the first one-dayer against Sri Lanka caught everyone by surprise since he was batting ahead of designated anchors Suryakumar Yadav and Manish Pandey when India didn’t really need to keep their foot on the accelerator.

But the idea perhaps was to stay ahead of the asking rate on a surface that the team management had presumably identified as a slow one. Chasing a target of 263, Shaw’s blitz gave India control, but they wanted to keep the game firmly in their grasp, which Kishan’s innings allowed them to do by taking apart the Sri Lankan spinners.

There were occasions where it seemed that Ishan Kishan is taking one chance too many and is losing a bit of shape. But he eventually sailed through to a fifty, which would boost his confidence further after a good showing with the gloves in the first half.

Kishan had a breakthrough IPL 2020 in UAE with MI, where he struck 516 runs from 14 innings at a fantastic strike-rate of 145.76 while maintaining a highly impressive average of 57.33. That campaign not only helped MI achieve a record fifth IPL title but also pushed Ishan Kishan higher in the reckoning for the Indian team.

Kishan’s inclusion augurs well for the Indian, as he can play different roles in the batting order besides providing a back-up wicketkeeping option to Rishabh Pant. Be it as a top-order aggressor or a late-innings assaulter, Kishan has shown with MI that he is willing to do whatever the team asks of him. If he can dominate his way through in Sri Lanka, Ishan Kishan will definitely strengthen his case for the T20 World Cup.

A cricket writer by heart and profession. Currently at work for CricXtasy. Previously with Circle of Cricket. You can find him on Twitter @crickashish217