“I will definitely play the IPL,” told Ishan Kishan in one of his interactions with me back in 2017. We were a couple of months away from the Indian Premier League when the news came in that the then Gujarat Lions wicket-keeper batsman Ishan had picked up a calf injury.
Despite the injury, his voice had the confidence of featuring in that IPL.
Well, this was just one instance where he proved that he has the intent and zeal to perform at the big level. Having known him for almost five years now, I have seen him grow and get better with every passing match.
Whether it was his 273 for Jharkhand against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season or his 113* against Manipur in the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, Kishan has been someone who has always shown the caliber he has.
The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman once again unfolded something of similar sorts while playing for Mumbai Indians against CSK in Sharjah in the IPL 2020 on Friday. The target was not really a big one as Chennai had only managed to put 114/9 in 20 overs on the board.
But Ishan and Quinton de Kock made sure that the two batsmen take MI home by 10 wickets and they did execute their plans with dominance. He probably had shown his class against RCB when he struck 99 against them but on Friday, it was something special.
Being asked to open the batting, Ishan grabbed the opportunity with both hands and hammered the CSK bowlers all around the park. Those who have seen him from his early domestic and U19 days are pretty aware of the fact that he has all the strokes in his arsenal.
He can play the pull shot, drive the ball, and can even slash it hard but without miscueing it, the left-hander just executed every shot that he had in the textbook with precision.
The result of his aggressive yet responsible batting was that he struck a fine 37-ball 68* that included five sixes and six fours and anchored his side to a thumping win. De Kock remained not out at 46* off 37.
“Natural stuff, pitch the ball up and get it moving,” MI fast bowler Trent Boult told in the post-match presentation. The New Zealand cricketer executed this plan with all the authority and returned with a four-for his side against CSK.
Boult used his inswingers and outswingers with perfection. Here’s a look at how he picked up four of the most important wickets in CSK ranks.
It all started with the word go when Boult created a perfect setup for Ruturaj Gaikwad and trapped him in front of the stumps on the fifth delivery of the innings.
Boult bowled the first delivery that was pitched in the good length area and came into the right-hander while the next moved away from him.
The third was somewhat a similar one to the second and had Gaikwad in some trouble. Gaikwad played the next delivery with some confidence and pushed it towards the soft hands.
It was a bit fullish one and moved away from him slightly. But Boult had his man of the fifth ball as the seamer bowled this one in the full-length area and got it coming into him. Gaikwad missed the ball completely while trying to flick it and it hit his pads.
It seemed as if it would have pitched outside the line of the leg stump with the naked eye and the on-field umpire turned down the appeal. But Kieron Pollard who was the acting captain for this game went for the review and Boult had his first scalp.
Boult then removed Faf du Plessis to pick his second wicket. It was a teasing outswinger moving away from Faf who didn’t really move and his bat got the finest of edge to give an easy catch to De Kock behind the stumps. He grabbed this one with ease to leave CSK tottering at 3/4.
Ravindra Jadeja was the third wicket that Boult got. Jadeja who was looking to gather some runs came down the track against Boult’s in-drifting length delivery and mistimed the pull shot completely to give a catch to Krunal Pandya at mid-wicket. He was dismissed for 7 off 6.
The fourth wicket that came for Boult was Sam Curran. Curran has been gathering a lot of appreciation from all around and he once again showed the intent and notched up his second IPL half-century to guide CSK to 114/9.
Well, the left-handed batsman had done his job before he was castled by Boult for 52 on the final ball of the innings.
Boult bowled a perfect yorker outside off-stump and Curran tried to whip it behind square but misses it. The ball goes through his legs and sends the stumps for a toss. Boult completes hos four-wicket haul.
MS Dhoni and his leg-spin woes
Rahul Chahar played an important role to help his side rattle CSK’s batting. Chahar picked up a crucial wicket of MS Dhoni and his brother Deepak.
Dhoni has had history against the leg-spinners and probably this is the only weakness that the former India captain has. We have often seen leggies castling him down with perfect googlies after breaking his defense. But Chahar played a different tactic.
After playing two dot balls in the 7th over, Dhoni smacked a six off Chahar’s quick leg-break.
But the leg-spinner didn’t lose confidence despite being hit for a maximum. He just gave a bit more flight to this delivery and it spun enough to catch the toe end of Dhoni’s bat. He edged this one and de Kock grabbed another one to send CSK captain packing.
The defeat against MI has dented the CSK fans’ expectations of seeing them into the play-offs now while Mumbai have once again taken the top spot in the points table.
Mumbai Indians 116 for 0 in 12.2 overs (Kishan 68, de Kock 46) beat Chennai Super Kings 114 for 9 in 20 overs (Sam Curran 52, Boult 4/18, Bumrah 2/25) by 10 wickets.