Ishan Kishan wants to make most of middle order opportunity

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Kishan, who has cemented himself as one of the youngest, fastest and most entertaining openers in the game over recent years, has returned to the playing 11 as a middle order batter in the absence of KL Rahul.

The competition for openers in the Indian squad is at an all-time high with Rohit Sharma, Shubhman Gill and Rahul all very adept at playing the role.

Kishan set the stage on fire when he scored the fastest ever double century in an ODI against Bangladesh recently, while Gilll too followed with a double hundred of his own in the first ODI against New Zealand on Wednesday (January 18).

With another opportunity to showcase his talents as a middle order batter in the ODI series against New Zealand, Kishan had an exclusive interaction with Star Sports, where he spoke on how he is adapting to his new role.

“I think overall it’s a good opportunity for me also, to prove myself in the middle order. I know most of them think that I am good as an opener, to go there and show some aggressive batting. But at the same time, I want to prove myself,” Kishan said when speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’.

“Here also, when I am batting at no. 4 or 5, where I can take the team out of tough situations or if we are in a good situation maybe I can go and play my shots. So it’s a good opportunity for me overall.”

Kishan further spoke on how he coped with not getting a spot in the series against Sri Lanka and how the competition in the team is helping everyone perform better.

“I think yes, I did score 200, and that was important too in the series as it was the last match and we lost the series against Bangladesh and then not getting a chance here, obviously it hurts a bit,” Kishan added.

“But at the same time, you can’t ignore the fact what Shubman Gill and Rohit bhai has done for India over the years or for Shubman over the series he has played. He has done very well for the team.

“So, I can’t just go there and ask for my spot, that I want to open, because we know how many players are there, how much competition is going on.

“Everyone is doing well for the team, so at the same time now, me getting this opportunity to bat in the middle order, I’ll try and give my best shot, play my best game, take the team out of any situation and maybe I can make my team win from that situation.”

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Kishan also spoke on how he is preparing himself for the series against New Zealand and how he is constantly trying to improve his game in the nets.

“Obviously, looking at their bowling attack I feel that they are a very planned team. Whenever we play against New Zealand, they keep a certain kind of field set for every player and they bowl according to that,” Kishan said.

“So, now when we were practicing in the nets I had a chat with few players of how to focus on keeping a single rotation together and at the same time I have to play those good grounded shots also.

“When you know that we are two down or three down, how do I keep the team on a positive note. Because we can’t go in a shell in any situation, if we lose wickets too early, we can’t let the other team dominate us.

“So it depends a lot on practice too, according to how we practice. So, my intent today was to focus on how I take the singles and at the same time I am getting those good boundaries in the grounded shots too.”

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