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Monday, March 1, 2021

another wicket-keeper batsman rising .. .. Ishan Kishan !!

There was a time, when in limited overs Cricket to bolster batting line-up, India went in with Rahul Dravid as a wicket keeper .. .. now with Rishab Pant having performed sensationally and KL Rahul very reliable with his performances in T20I and ODI – can you imagine another wicket-keeper getting into the squad… ..- Ishan Pranav Kumar Pandey Kishan – we may hear and see more of him !!

Have seen Farokh Engineer at Chepauk in 1975 and a couple of months later saw Syed Kirmani, in action at Marina grounds in a Buchibabu match. When Kirmani became regular – thought Bharat Reddy would replace him.  Reddy did play in 1979 England series .. .. .. then for the WI tour in 1983 an young Kiran More appeared.  Sadanand Vishwanath was flashy in 1985 but faded too soon. A few years later came Nayan Mongia – in between Chandrakant Pandit, from Bombay, played 5 tests – only 2 of them as a keeper, rest as a pure batsman !    He went on to become a successful coach, guiding Mumbai to two consecutive Ranji Trophy triumphs in 2003 and 2004.  

At Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore in the Elite group match of Vijay Hazare Troph Jharkhand made 422/9 and bowled out Madhya Pradesh for a paltry 98 winning by 324 runs !  Ishan Kishan sent social media into a frenzy with his breathtaking batting display. Kishan slammed 11 sixes and 19 fours on his way to a scintillating 173 off just 94 balls.   A wicketkeeper and left-handed opening batsman from Jharkhand, the same state MS Dhoni hails from, Ishan Kishan led India at the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 in Bangladesh, where his team finished runners-up to West Indies.

India have named three of IPL 2020's top performers - batsman Suryakumar Yadav, wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan, and allrounder Rahul Tewatia in their squad for the five-match T20I series against England that begins from March 12. The squad also has the returning Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant and Varun Chakarvarthy, but the injured Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, and Mayank Agarwal, who were all part of India's last T20I assignment in Australia late last year, have missed out on selection. Jasprit Bumrah is also not part of the squad.

These are maiden call-ups for Yadav, Tewatia and Kishan, who put on some of the most sparkling batting displays during last year's IPL which ended shortly before India flew to Australia. Thirty-year-old Yadav is the most experienced cricketer of the trio, while 22-year-old Kishan - who made 173 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy hours before the squad announcement - has long been seen as a potential India player since breaking through with the Under-19 team. The pair of them formed a deadly combination in Mumbai Indians' top three, particularly towards the end of their title-winning campaign in the UAE. Kishan takes the place of Samson, who was the second wicketkeeper in India's last few series.

The selection of 27-year-old Tewatia, in comparison, is another case of a player transcending limitations in other formats and finding a path to the national team via the IPL. Like T Natarajan, who was called in to replaced the injured Chakravarthy - himself a product of T20 leagues - in Australia, Tewatia made his abilities known with stellar performances in last year's edition, particularly an innings where he went from struggling on 5 off 13 to hit six sixes off his last eight balls to take Rajasthan Royals to victory against Punjab Kings. He played a few other key knocks of a similar flavour, while being Royals' only fixed domestic bowler throughout their campaign.

Lot more coming up .. ..

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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