IPL 2022: I did not want to go anywhere else because MI is my family, says Ishan Kishan
IPL 2022: Over the past four years, Ishan Kishan has become the darling of the Mumbai Indians team.
He had walked in as a giggly 21-year-old in 2018 and slowly evolved into a key member of the team, helping MI to back-to-back IPL titles in 2019 and 2020.
The MI family loved him and Ishan Kishan had no doubts about where he wanted to be ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auctions.
“I knew MI would go for me. They have always been very helpful, backed me and worked on me. All I needed to do was work hard and reciprocate by playing good cricket. They put their belief in me and invested in my future,” Ishan Kishan stated in a chat with The Times of India.
“MI knows me, they understand my game and I know the team and how they work. I was sure that I did not want to go anywhere else.”
As expected, there was a bidding war for one of the most talented youngsters in the country. But MI held firm and got the wicket-keeper for ₹15.25 cr. The price tag did affect Ishan Kishan but not in the way you’d think.
“The worrying part was the rising price because MI needed to save on money to build the rest of the team. It was not just about me. I must admit that my heart skipped a beat for a minute,” revealed the 23-year-old.
Ishan Kishan was also very eloquent when asked to summarise MI.
“They are a family that puts trust in a relationship and creates an ecosystem. The best part of being at MI is that you are not with them for just two months of the IPL. There’s a proper programme designed for you. You get all the help and support you need, your diet, supplements, training, everything,” explained Kishan.
Being at MI also means being able to pick the brains of arguably the best batter ever in Sachin Tendulkar and Ishan Kishan has benefited immensely from interacting with the legend.
“I was very relaxed when I joined MI. However, having the senior players, coaching staff and Sachin sir around helped me. The conversations with Sachin sir on the elements I should be focusing on have been great. I have learnt to follow a process, absorb pressure and tick the right boxes,” he added.
The youngster also credited head coach Mahela Jayawardene for helping him keep his head down and Rohit Sharma for teaching him game management.
“Mahela has helped me a lot with my batting. I love hitting sixes, it comes naturally. I would always pick on a spinner in the nets. As soon as he saw me getting a bit casual, he would quietly come over. And tell me to focus because we had a match coming. He has always been around and has been a calming influence. When he found out I was sleeping late, he’d call at 1 am to check. And if I picked up, he’d say ‘Oh, so you haven’t slept yet.’ And I would sheepishly reply ‘I was just going to,” said Kishan.
“The time that I’ve spent with Rohit bhai has been priceless. Things like rotating the strike and being aware of match situations.”
Kishan’s family happens to be his comfort zone.
“No matter what the circumstances, talking to my family always helps. I’m a mama’s boy,” he laughed.
“I call mom first because I know the moment I speak to papa, he will begin his coaching on the phone. Coaching toh har dad ka hota hai na, every dad is like ‘mera wala technique follow karo, dekho sau kaise banega’ (Every dad wants to be a coach, they are like ‘use my technique and you will score a century’). Him and my elder brother are always waiting to take my case,” he added.
When Kishan returns to the MI camp this time around. He will also have a fiery new team-mate in Jofra Archer and Kishan had high praise for him.
“Jofra Archer is a kind of bowler who can trouble me. Playing shots off him is difficult because he gets a little extra bounce. And his pace and run-up don’t match up. He slow jogs to the crease. With T20s being such a fast game, you have to move around to make your own space to hit a shot. Doing that to Archer is difficult,” felt Kishan.
There is not much time left now for Ishan Kishan to join up with the MI family again as IPL 2022 beckons.