MSD behind Jharkhand's Ranji success: Ex U-19 captain Ishan Kishan

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MSD behind Jharkhand's Ranji success: Ex U-19 captain Ishan Kishan

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SportsCafe Desk

12/28/2016

Former India U-19 captain and Jharkhand player Ishan Kishan has credited MS Dhoni as a big reason behind the underdog team's run to the Ranji trophy semifinals this year. Pacer Shahbaz Nadeem, who has topped the wicket charts this season, also credited Dhoni for the spike in his performance.

Jharkhand, who were virtual no-bodies until this season, have made a dream run in the 2016-17 Ranji trophy. The team defeated Haryana to enter the semi-final stages of the Ranji Trophy.

It appears India’s limited-overs skipper MS Dhoni has had a lot to do with the success. After his retirement from Test cricket, instead of donning the domestic colors and taking to the field, Dhoni had joined the team on a regular basis in practice sessions as a mentor ahead of the domestic season. The move appears to have worked wonders for the team.

Former India U-19 captain Kishan has described how Dhoni was responsible for his shift in stance this season and how it has worked for him, in an exclusive interview to News18.

Kishan said, “Dhoni bhai saw me at the nets and walked up to me and said that I needed to curtail my attacking instincts to begin with. He believed that to play a long innings I needed to be a little more compact and I did just that. He asked me to change my stance as well and when it comes from someone like Dhoni bhai, you know you can trust his observation.

“I got time to rework my stance and train with my new stance during the camp ahead of the season and I realised that I was feeling a lot better at the crease. I have maintained that stance since and I have seen that it has enhanced my batting,” reported News18.

Kishan also describes how the Indian skipper instiled a culture of fitness in the team – something uncommon in the Indian domestic circuit.

“Dhoni bhai puts a lot of emphasis on fitness. As we all know, he loves to stay at the top of his fitness level. And this time, he ensured that we also worked on our fitness at the start of the season. It was obviously something that wasn’t too common with the domestic teams, but the experience was out of the world.

“To be honest, we have played nine games so far, but we still feel like the season has just started. To be mentally fresh going into the business end of the tournament is very important and we have managed to do that thanks to Dhoni bhai’s efforts,” he said.

Shahbaz Nadeem, the season's topper in the wicket-taker list with 50 wickets, also talked about how Dhoni had helped him.

“It always helps when you have someone like Dhoni bhai to help you. There is no questioning his tactical acumen and I still remember that going into the game against Maharashtra, the wicket wore a slightly greener look. So Dhoni bhai came up to me and said that I should initially look to restrict the batsmen and use variations only after I have tied them down. The move worked wonders and here I am leading the wicket-takers’ tally,” Nadeem revealed.

In the semifinals, Jharkhand will take on Gujarat on New Year's day at Nagpur.

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