Ishan Kishan - The other India captain and wicket keeper batsman hailing from Jharkhand

India have had a wicketkeeper-batsman from Jharkhand leading their national cricket team for the last decade in MS Dhoni, the swashbuckling legend who at 34 is on the last lap of his career. One does not have to look too far to find a fitting successor to him, however, as 17-year-old Ishan Kishan of Jharkhand prepares to lead the U-19 India team at the World Cup which will be held in January 2016.
The similarities between MS Dhoni and Ishan Kishan are endless – like Dhoni, Kishan has been earmarked at a very young age as a great leader, such that he has been given charge of the India team at a major world event. The one difference between them is that Kishan is a left-handed batsman, but no less swashbuckling.

It is also said that there are also shades of Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist in the young Kishan, who has scored 736 runs in 10 Ranji matches in his fledgling career, mostly while opening the innings, and also that in him India have unearthed the next Virat Kohli.

Past India U-19 captains include Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Kaif, Ravindra Jadeja, Kohli himself and Unmukt Chand – another indication that the 17-year old is set for a path of greatness.

The 5’7’’ Kishan is the youngest player in the Jharkhand side this year, and a frequent cry being heard from the Jharkhand dressing room this year is ‘Shabash Chotey’ (Great going, little one!). Kishan’s coming-of-age knock came on a dusty pitch against Saurashtra in October this year, when he scored a 69-ball 87, scoring more than 3/4th of his team’s total of 120, facing Ravindra Jadeja in devastating form.

Such was the application and uncoached brilliance the young man had showed during that knock that his dismissal had brought about a sight rarely seen in untelevised domestic cricket – Jadeja, who claimed his wicket, broke from the Saurashtra huddle and went over to pat the back of Kishan.

Was scared to approach Dhoni, want to follow Kohli’s path: Kishan

Kishan travelled to Jharkhand from Patna two years ago to pursue his dream of playing top level cricket, after Bihar’s cricket body lost its affiliation with BCCI. He stayed at a hotel for a long while, being provided assistance by his parents who stayed on in Patna.

Having being named India junior captain at 17 years of age, of a team having more experienced cricketers than him like Sarfaraz Khan, Ricky Bhui and Rishabh Pant, perhaps even Kishan is a little surprised at how quickly he has had stardom thrust upon him.

Like any other teenager though, Kishan is still starstruck at the thought of being compared to senior India legends.

He said to Wisden India, “Dhoni sir is just amazing! I’m very lucky to have had the chance to play with him (in the 2015-16 Vijay Hazare Trophy). I didn’t get to talk to him too much because I am a little scared to approach him, but he is just so amazing.

“Players like (Virat) Kohli have become legends after captaining India at this level so this is my biggest opportunity.”

When asked about his similarity to Sehwag’s style of batting, he said, “Whoever says that I don’t care about conditions and things like that is absolutely wrong. I am always aware of the team’s situation and the kind of situation I am in. It’s nice to be compared to Sehwag sir, but I am nothing like that. He is a genius and I am just starting off.

“But it’s quite simple, I love playing shots.”

Kishan was handed over the captaincy during the recent tri-series against Sri Lanka and England, where India enjoyed a run of 6 unbeaten games under his leadership.

Dravid, the India U-19 coach, has had a part to play in discovering Kishan as well, and his ward has only great things to say about the legend. He says, "Merely a two-minute talk with him takes out all the stress. You can't describe his presence in words. He knows when to go easy and at what point to push us. We are fortunate to be guided by him."

India are placed with Australia, New Zealand and Nepal in Group D and will play their first game against Australia on January 28.

The state of Jharkhand having two India captains at the same time was something that would have been unforeseeable a few years ago. Only time will tell if the 17-year-old Kishan can live up to the legacy left by Dhoni and go on to build his own, or whether he fades away like a few previous young prodigies.

Post A Comment:


We Will Love to Hear From You! Pls Comment Your Views...........