Former national chief selector MSK Prasad believes that the versatility of young Ishan Kishan, who struck 516 runs in IPL 2020, makes him a hot contender for the wicket-keeper’s spot in limited-overs cricket. Prasad feels Kishan will be a ‘welcome addition’ if he could bat the way he did in the IPL.
Flashes of brilliance were all Ishan Kishan showcased in his first two seasons with the Mumbai Indians but in IPL 2020, the youngster showed the world exactly why he’s considered to be a generational talent. Batting both up-top and in the middle, Kishan torched opposition bowlers with brute power and ended the season with 516 runs to his name, the most by any uncapped Indian batsman in a single season in the tournament’s history.
With his showing, the 22-year-old has catapulted into the radar of the national selectors and while many believe that the southpaw might yet be a bit raw, a former chief selector has claimed that young Kishan will be a welcome addition to the national side.
MSK Prasad, whose tenure as team India’s chief selector came to an end earlier this year, has expressed his admiration for Kishan and has stated that, in the current form he is in, the Jharkhand lad will be a ‘hot contender’ for the wicket-keeper spot in ODIs and T20Is, which is currently been occupied by KL Rahul. Kishan, despite not donning the gloves for MI, is a regular keeper for his state-side Jharkhand.
"It's really fantastic to see this pocket dynamite in action. He had a fantastic IPL. Batting at No. 4 and later opening the innings, shows his adaptability and temperament. His ability to switch gears as per the team's requirements will definitely place him as a hot contender for the wicketkeeper-batsman slot for Team India in both T20s & ODIs in times to come,” Prasad was quoted as saying by TOI.
“If he can keep wickets well and bat the same way he did in the IPL, he will be a welcome addition to the national squad.”
Meanwhile, former Indian cricketer Jatin Paranjpe, who was also a part of the national selection committee until a while ago, has stated that Kishan is ‘ready’ for international cricket. According to Paranjpe, a selection of a player should depend on what he or she brings to the team and thus has claimed that he has ‘absolutely no doubt’ that the versatile 22-year-old is ready to don the Indian blue.
"He's ready for the India cap from a potential and standards perspective. See, it's not just about picking somebody. You have to see: 'What does the team need right now? If you pick a player in the 15, does he have a real shot of playing in the XI, or is he just someone who is occupying a slot? "
“The 'flying formation' or 'balance,' is an integral part of selecting a player. It's also about whether he's needed at this point in time. From a quality perspective, there's no doubt in my head that he's ready for international cricket," said Paranjpe.
Kishan, apart from accumulating 516 runs, also struck 30 sixes, the most by any batsman in IPL 2020.