Kishan's aggressive batting helped Kohli play his natural game: Atherton

India vs England, 2nd T20I: Ishan Kishan smashed a 32-ball 56 on his debut and stitched a 94-run stand for the second wicket with Virat Kohli to hand India a win on Sunday.

Published : Mar 15, 2021 12:49 IST , London

Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan of India with the 'Ambuja Atoot Jodi of the Match' award after the 2nd T20I against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan of India with the 'Ambuja Atoot Jodi of the Match' award after the 2nd T20I against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
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Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan of India with the 'Ambuja Atoot Jodi of the Match' award after the 2nd T20I against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Former England captain Michael Atherton says debutant Ishan Kishan's aggressive batting at the top helped 'under-pressure' Virat Kohli settle down and play his natural game in the second T20 International.

Kishan smashed a 32-ball 56 on his first international outing and stitched a 94-run stand for the second wicket with Kohli (73 not out off 49 balls) to hand India a series-levelling seven-wicket win on Sunday night.

Atherton said Kishan's fluent batting helped in taking some pressure off Kohli, who had registered three ducks in his previous five innings.

"I think Virat fell under a little bit of pressure in that first game because of what he'd said in the press conference about India playing a slightly more aggressive game," the former England skipper told Sky Sports .

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"The problem in that first game, with the line-up that India had was that they had quite a lot of similar players in the top-order and I think Kohli felt pressured. 'I've talked the talk, let's walk it now' and it's not really his game.

"He's (Kohli) an elite player and scores very quickly but not like a (Rishabh) Pant or, indeed, an Ishan Kishan. So when that young man came in and played the way he did, I think that just allowed Kohli to come in and play his natural game," he observed.

Atherton said Kohli looked in his comfort zone during his knock on Sunday.

"He's not playing the type of shot he got out to the other day, where he is backing away and trying to manufacture something. He's just playing a more orthodox type of innings for him, even though he's still striking quickly and getting those fast hands through the ball in those leg-side shots that he plays so well," he said.

"I definitely felt this was a more Kohli-like performance than in the first game."

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