After making a strong international debut in India's 3-2 win over England in the five-match T20I series, Ishan Kishan has received high praise from his Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma.
Ishan was selected in the Indian squad on the back of some tremendous performances in IPL 2020 for champions Mumbai Indians. The left-handed wicketkeeper batsman smashed 516 runs from 14 matches in the tournament with an impressive strike-rate of 145.76.
Although he could only play a solitary match against England due to a groin injury, Ishan left his mark with a fiery half-century (56 off 32 balls) on debut which also won him the Man of the Match award.
Speaking at a virtual press conference after India's series clinching 36-run victory over England in the 5th T20I, Rohit Sharma revealed how impressed he was with Ishan's improvement in terms of game-awareness since last year's IPL. He said:
"He (Ishan Kishan) has gone from strength to strength when we talk about his cricketing skills. He has improved from the last IPL to now. The change that I've noticed in him is that he has started to understand the game a lot better. Not to forget that he captains Jharkand in the limited overs, so obviously he's reading the game and seeing what's happening. And that probably helps him a lot while batting or keeping."
Important to give youngsters like Ishan and Suryakumar Yadav freedom to express themselves: Rohit Sharma
Not only Ishan, but youngsters like Rishabh Pant (102 runs in 4 innings) and Suryakumar Yadav (89 runs in 2 innings) also impressed with their fearless batting in the series against England.
Suryakumar Yadav finished with a strike-rate of 185, the highest amongst all batsmen with a minimum of fifty runs in the series, while Ishan Kishan had a strike-rate of 146 in the lone innings he played.
Rohit, who scored 64 off 34 balls in the final game of the series to help India set a target of well over two hundred runs, expressed the importance of giving freedom to youngsters like Ishan and Surya while calmer heads like himself take the responsibility of batting deep.
"Ishan likes to play freely. Someone like him and Surya, you've got to give them the freedom to express themselves. At ther end of the day, they're doing it for the team's cause. And the team management likes that when you have few players playing with freedom and the others with a calm head on their shoulders taking the game till the end. You need variety of players and I think we've got them right now. It's good to have that mix. It's very healthy for the team going into any tournament,"concluded Rohit Sharma.