Ranji Trophy: Ishan Kishan shines for Jharkhand

Ishan Kishan's century on Saturday, built on amazing self-confidence, was a precursor of his impending batting exploits in the season ahead.

ranji trophy ishan kishan

Ishan Kishan carried the fight into the final day with an unbeaten knock of 118.   -  Sandeep Saxena

Short in height, but big in terms of potential, Ishan Kishan would be a name the bowlers would contend with on the circuit in the years to come. His century on Saturday, built on amazing self-confidence, was a precursor of his impending batting exploits in the season ahead.

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Kishan rocked at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex here on Saturday. “Incredible talent,” gushed Karnataka coach J. Arun Kumar as the Jharkhand youngster carried the fight into the final day with an unbeaten knock of 118 (148 balls, 13 fours and five sixes). In reply to Karnataka’s first innings score of 577 for six declared, Jharkhand was 309 for six with Kishan in raging form.

It was threatening to become a one-sided contest when Karnataka had taken Jharkhand’s fourth wicket and that too of the talented Ishank Jaggi to take a firm grip on the Ranji Trophy match at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex here on Saturday. Jharkhand was nine without loss overnight and ran into early trouble when Shiv Gautam failed to add to his score of one. Virat Singh left cheaply too, but Anand Singh and Saurabh Tiwary added 66 runs for the third wicket before Stuart Binny provided the breakthrough.

Thereafter, it was a contest between Tiwary, a much-gifted batsman but a huge under-achiever too. His frame suggests a lethargic presence but not when he has a bat; not when he eyes a second run; and certainly not when he picks a loose ball early. Tiwary can be a pleasure to watch since he possesses most strokes. He can tap and belt the ball with finesse, picking ones and boundaries with ridiculous ease. He loves to make a point to the bowler and there were many instances when he dismissed a good ball with the nonchalance of a veteran.

Jharkhand had its best moments when Tiwary and the 18-year-old Kishan got together and played some rousing strokes. Kishan played the lead role after Tiwary was run out at 91 (163 balls, six fours, three sixes) to hit his second first-class century. What stood out in Kishan’s knock was his positive energy at the crease. He did not compromise with his penchant to play the shots and some of his sixes landed well beyond the boundary. He went berserk when he realised it was his responsibility to garner runs.

As Arun noted, “Kishan batted with lot of ease and played strokes of authority. I was very impressed.” Kishan responded, “All I did was played with confidence. I looked to push the fielders back and just attacked. That’s my game.” It is a nice game and Kishan emerged the star of the day to keep the final day’s interest alive even though Karnataka is 268 runs ahead.