Ishan Kishan was an epitome of insane power-hitting as his record-breaking fastest double hundred provided a healing touch in India’s crushing 227-run consolation victory over Bangladesh in the third ODI here on Saturday.
Despite the record margin of victory - biggest by any team against Bangladesh - the 1-2 series defeat will certainly rankle the Indian team as both matches slipped away from its grasp after being in pole position.
Virat Kohli (113) struck his 44th ODI hundred. The century came Kohli’s way after a barren spell of nearly 40 months but it was easily overshadowed by Kishan’s blitzkrieg as his 210 off 131 balls formed the cornerstone of India’s mammoth total of 409 for eight after back-to-back inept batting performances.
His innings had 24 fours and 10 sixes and his double hundred came off only 126 balls.
The total was always going to be insurmountable and Bangladesh was never in contention as it was bowled out for 182 in 34 overs with all the Indian bowlers being among wickets.
Axar Patel (two for 22), Shardul Thakur (three for 30), Umran Malik (two for 43), Mohammed Siraj (one for 27) and Kuldeep Yadav (one for 53) never really allowed the home team batters to dominate as they shared the spoils.
Kishan’s blistering innings and the intent he showed while catching the Bangladesh attack by the scruff of its neck would definitely put the team management under pressure to take some tough calls as it moves into the World Cup year.
In fact, such was his domination that Rohit Sharma’s world record ODI score of 264 was in danger of being history.
“I got out with 15 (14.1) overs left. I could have got 300 also,” Kishan told official broadcasters during the innings break.
Apart from Rohit’s three double tons, the two other Indian batters to achieve the feat are maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
“I am blessed to hear my name between such legends. The wicket was too good to bat on. My intent was very clear - if the ball is there, I’ll go for it,” he said.
Having completed his maiden ODI century in 85 balls, Kishan batted in T20 mode as records kept on tumbling. That 156 of his runs came in sixes and boundaries tells a lot about the relentless assault he unleashed on the Bangladeshi bowlers.
The short balls were pulled, the length balls were driven, the ones with width were cut fiercely.
West Indies’ Chris Gayle held the previous record with his 138-ball double ton against Zimbabwe in 2015. After touching the three-figure mark, Kishan raced to the next 100 runs in just 41 balls.
Kohli was also at his sublime best en route to his 72nd international century as the duo bossed the innings with a 290-run partnership off just 190 balls.
“I was batting with Virat bhai, and he was spot on with which bowlers I needed to select (to target). I was on 95 and wanted to bring up the hundred with a six but he calmed me down, saying it was my first hundred, get it in singles as it’s your first,” he said.
Having scored his maiden T20I hundred earlier this year against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, Kohli recorded his first ODI ton since August 2019.
In a reminder of the famous six off Haris Rauf in the T20 World Cup, he picked a back-of-a-length delivery from Ebadot Hossain for a six to reach his century in 86 balls.
Once both were gone, India managed just 70 runs in the last 10 overs while losing five wickets.
Having already conceded the three-match series after losing the first two ODIs following ordinary batting, India, under KL Rahul, brought in Kishan to open with the struggling Shikhar Dhawan.
Their opening partnership lasted 4.1 overs as Mehidy Hasan Miraz trapped Dhawan lbw for three. The off-spinner nearly had Kohli when he drove straight to short mid-wicket, but skipper Litton Das dropped him on six.
Thereafter, it was one-way traffic for India as Kishan smashed the Bangladesh bowling with his explosive batting. Dealing mostly in boundaries, the diminutive batter relished the short-pitched stuff and looked in total control on both sides of the wicket.
Kohli performed ‘bhangra’ steps before hugging the youngster after he reached his double century.