Ishan Kishan's blazing 93 off just 84 balls played a crucial role in Team India leveling their ongoing three-match ODI series against South Africa on October 9. Some of his shots were unbelievable and proved that when he gets going, he is very difficult to stop.
He has been in and out of the Indian side, but Kishan is just 24 and has a lot of time to have a successful international career. The southpaw captained India's U19 side in 2016, he rose to fame after his impressive performances for the Mumbai Indians (MI). Kishan played a key role in their Indian Premier League (IPL) title wins in 2019 and 2020.
At times, he has been questioned for his consistency and shot selection. However, some of his world-class knocks have shown just how much potential Ishan Kishan has to become a future superstar for India.
On that note, let's take a look at three such knocks:
#3 62 (21) | MI vs KKR, Eden Gardens, IPL 2018
Quite a few eyebrows were raised when MI splashed a whopping INR 6.2 crore on a 19-year-old Ishan Kishan in the 2018 IPL auction. Many felt that the defending champions had perhaps overpaid as Kishan hadn't proven himself yet in a league as difficult as the IPL.
But his knock against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) showed exactly what he is capable of. In just 21 balls, Ishan Kishan smashed 62 runs with five fours and six sixes. The youngster, a natural opener for his state team across formats, proved to be versatile enough to bat in the middle-order.
Ishan Kishan joined an elite list of Indian players to have smashed four sixes in a row in the IPL when he took Kuldeep Yadav to the cleaners. He also brought up the then joint-fastest fifty for the Mumbai Indians in IPL history.
#2 99 (58) | MI vs RCB, Dubai, IPL 2020
IPL 2020 was truly a breakout season for Ishan Kishan as he smashed 516 runs and was an integral part of MI's fifth title win.
However, he didn't enjoy a great start to the tournament as he wasn't in the playing XI and had to warm the bench while waiting for a chance. Once it arrived, though, Kishan ensured he made the most of it.
In a game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the left-hander came into the team in place of Saurabh Tiwary and instantly proved why he was there to stay.
Chasing a mammoth target of 202 to win, MI were in deep trouble at 78/4.
The required run-rate was creeping up and Mumbai had to put their foot on the accelerator. Ishan Kishan took on this responsibility and began to smash sixes almost at will. Kieron Pollard joined him and the duo rapidly turned the tide in MI's favor.
Some unbelievable six-hitting from the duo saw MI come within touching distance of an incredible win. But with five runs needed off two balls, Kishan was caught in the deep and missed his maiden IPL hundred by just one run.
Pollard smashed the last ball for a boundary and the game went to a Super Over, which MI eventually lost. The scene in the Mumbai dugout with Kishan sitting with his pads on and in tears went viral.
Although he couldn't help MI win, his 58-ball 99, adorned with two fours and nine sixes, remains one of the most incredible knocks by an uncapped player in the IPL.
#1 93 (84) | IND vs SA, Ranchi, 2022
The knock that defined Ishan Kishan's match-winning ability in the ODI format was the one he played on his home ground in Ranchi against South Africa on October 9. The youngster batted at No. 3 and was expected to stabilize the Indian innings.
Chasing 279 to level the series, India didn't get off to the best of starts as they lost both their openers in the powerplay. With the team needing to stave off losing any more wickets, Ishan Kishan played some dot balls, leading many to question his approach.
However, the 24-year-old took on left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj and smashed him for three huge sixes over mid-wicket. This forced the South African stand-in skipper to take himself out of the attack, a move which proved to be significant in the context of the game.
Kishan has incredible numbers against Anrich Nortje in white-ball cricket and continued to dominate the speedster in Ranchi. Nortje tried to beat him for pace, but the youngster just waited on his back-foot and threw the kitchen sink at everything that came his way.
He sent the ball into the stands seven times, while also striking four boundaries, to race to 93.
The southpaw was gutted when he missed out on his hundred. But he also received some thunderous applause from the crowd for proving what he is capable of and taking India to the cusp of victory.
Ishan Kishan's 161-run stand with Shreyas Iyer (113 not out) laid the platform for the hosts to level the series with a seven-wicket win.