IPL 2021: “Play him like an off-spinner” - Ishan Kishan on how to overcome the Imran Tahir challenge

Imran Tahir (left) and Ishan Kishan. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Imran Tahir (left) and Ishan Kishan. Pic: IPLT20.COM

Ishan Kishan has revealed that a smart advice about playing Imran Tahir as an off-spinner helped him dominate the leg-spinner during an IPL 2020 clash between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Sharjah last year.

Kishan opened the innings for MI in the absence of the injured Rohit Sharma in the match, and ended up unbeaten on 68 off 37 balls, hitting six fours and five sixes.

In a video shared on MI’s official Twitter handle, Kishan recalled how he overcame his struggles against Tahir in the Sharjah game last season.

“My parents, they always think that whenever Imran (Tahir) comes to bowl, I get out. I know that he got me two-three times when he bowled googly, and I went for six and got out [sic]. I was talking to someone in the team that what do I do when Tahir bowls. So he said, just play him like an off-spinner,” Ishan said, while reflecting on his memorable innings.

The advice worked, and Ishan Kishan ended up hitting two sixes off Tahir’s googlies, and five in total all match.

⏪ Boult and Ishan reflect on their performances in the clash vs CSK at Sharjah last year ⚔️ 💥#OneFamily #MumbaiIndians #IPL2021 #KhelTakaTak @ishankishan51 @MXTakaTak MI TV

Admitting that he was happy as well as nervous about opening the batting for MI in the big game against CSK in IPL 2020, Kishan added:

“When I got to know that I will be opening because Rohit (Sharma) bhai was injured, I was happy. Also, at the same time, it was pressure for me. Somewhere coach (Mahela Jayawardene), KP (Krunal Pandya), HP (Hardik Pandya), everyone knew that I was going to perform. They were so happy for me that finally I was getting to open the innings.”

The MI-CSK clash will kick off the second half of IPL 2021 in the UAE on Sunday. The T20 league had to be suspended midway due to COVID-19 concerns. Reflecting on the IPL’s famous rivalry between MI and CSK, Ishan Kishan said:

“We have a very good record against CSK. So whenever we get to play against Chennai, we just know that we have to go there and play good cricket.”

What happened when MI faced CSK in Sharjah in IPL 2020

The MI-CSK encounter in IPL 2020 in Sharjah was played in October last year. MI bowled first after winning the toss, and restricted CSK to 114 for 9.

Left-arm pacer Trent Boult was the wrecker-in-chief with 4/18. He knocked over Ruturaj Gaikwad (0) and Faf du Plessis (1) cheaply before coming back to dismiss Ravindra Jadeja (7) and Sam Curran (52). Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar also impressed, taking two scalps apiece.

In response, Quinton de Kock (46 not out) and Kishan (68 not out) attacked CSK chased down the target in 12.2 overs and ten wickets to spare.

Edited by Bhargav
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