'There is no fielder, hit him for a six' - Ishan Kishan recalls Virat Kohli's advice on international debut

Ishan Kishan scored a half-century on both T20I and ODI debut.

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan. (Photo Source: BCCI)

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After all the hard work, worship, training, and hard-core practice, Ishan Kishan managed to make it into the Indian Cricket Team when he made his debut during the second T20I against England on 14th March, 2021. Before making his debut, he had scored ample runs in the domestic circuit and the Indian Premier League.

During his debut game against England in Ahmedabad, he opened the batting for India alongside KL Rahul while chasing 165 runs. It was a big blow for the team when Rahul had to walk back in the very first over. The then-skipper Virat Kohli walked in at No. 3, and shared a piece of advice with the debutant, as he asked him to take on Jofra Archer from the first ball itself.

Kishan, in a conversation with Gaurav Kapur on his show Breakfast with Champions, shed light on the incident: “I opened with KL [Rahul] bhai when he got out Kohli bhai came. So when I was facing my first ball he was there. The first thing he said to me when [Jofra] Archer was bowling, ‘Look, there is no fielder there, hit him for a six.’ I said, ‘Umm, that’s Archer.'”

“But the way he said it, I felt he was right. I should smash Archer, that’s the zone I entered. And I got a boundary off the first ball. I was just happy about that, international first boundary Archer,” he added. Ishan had a fantastic debut as he brought up his maiden international fifty in his debut game and guided India towards a win.

People think that it’s the first ball in international cricket, so let’s play it safe: Ishan Kishan

The 23-year-old made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka the same year, when a fresh India squad toured the country under Rahul Dravid’s and Shikhar Dhawan’s leadership. Ishan mentioned Dhawan’s words when he hit the first two balls of the game for boundaries on the day of his debut.

“Before going out, I had said the first ball is going to be a six. People think that it’s the first ball in international cricket, so let’s play it safe. But, I was thinking, time’s have changed and it got to big. Then the next ball I hit for four. Shikhar Dhawan came up and said ‘bro, what’s the plan?’ I just said I’m seeing the ball and hitting it,” Kishan said.

He scored a half-century on his ODI debut as well and contributed to India’s victory in the game. Ishan is representing MI in the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League and stands as the most expensive buy this season after his bid of INR 15.25 crore. MI has played two games so far and lost both, but Ishan has managed to score a half-century in both games.