Ishan Kishan shot to fame when he guided India’s colts to the final of the U-19 World Cup earlier this year. India lost the match but the 17-year-old’s captaincy succeeded in grabbing eyeballs. In a season with Gujarat Lions just over in the Indian Premier League, Kishan is relishing his new-found success but feels he, “still has a lot to learn.”
“The IPL changed a lot of things in my life. It was a good platform for youngsters. You can show your cricketing abilities and prove yourself. I played my first IPL and it was a good experience but I still have a lot to learn,” said Kishan, who was picked up by the Lions for `35 lakh. Kishan was introduced to cricket by his elder brother Raj and his first class debut was for Jharkhand in 2014.
The Patna lad has experience in dealing with the responsibilities of captaincy since his early days in the game, having led his school team at the School World Cup in Aligarh when he was just seven. “My brother used to play cricket as a professional and I was only there for fun. Coach Santosh Kumar saw me playing and then went to our father and told him that he (Ishan) was a good player and let him play and I was into cricket,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.
Touted as the next Virat Kohli, Kishan’s game-anticipation skills impressed India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid so much so that he made him the captain of the team.
“I learnt a lot from Dravid... he taught me about professionalism. How to react on and off the field everytime I play. I hope this will help me in the IPL as well as in future,” says Kishan, whose only dream is to become a successful cricketer and to be selected to the senior national team.
Representing the same state as India limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kishan dreams of emulating his statemate. “I got a chance to play alongside Dhoni in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year. His tips helped me grow as a player,” he said.
The 17-year-old loves to travel and he wants to roam the world when he is done with the sport. Not an avid reader, the Patna born enjoys spending time playing snooker and table tennis during his leisure time. “I would love to travel and I think every cricketer likes it... but right now I do not have time to travel and visit my favourite destinations. As of now, I am only travelling for cricket, let’s see what happens later.”
Asked how he spends his free time with family, the youngest in a family of four, says, “Whenever possible, I try and give enough time to my family as we have to travel a lot. It is not that easy for me to spend time with family. So, whenever I am at home, I spend time with my mother and father. I love to share my experience with them.”
Though Kishan gets very little time for other activities since he is busy with cricket on most days, the teenager follows fashion as well. “I want to look fit, dress well and be well-prepared always. You need to be presentable and this boosts your confidence also,” the student of XIth standard in Patna’s College of Commerce said.
An overdose of pressure and media scrutiny is part and parcel of an international cricketer’s life these days and Kishan feels, to deal with it, one needs to be physically fit as well as mentally sound. “I love peace. So, I stay in my room and watch matches. I just focus on my cricket sitting in my room and thinking about as to how the day has been. That’s it,” says the aspiring cricketer....