Bangladesh vs India, ODIs, 2022-23: Ishan Kishan shows India correct approach for modern day Limited-over International cricket. India lack fire power in ODIs at the top since 2020.
The recent two One Day International (ODI) series for India against New Zealand and Bangladesh at the backend of this year have been nothing short of being a serious eye opener for India ahead of a World Cup year in the given format. To be fair, India need to improve a lot of skills in the 50-over format of the game with an eye on the upcoming ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023.
India lost the lone ODI, with two others being washed out due to rain against New Zealand, before losing two back-to-back games against Bangladesh but the concern lay not in losing but that India were playing with an old school approach in this format of the game.
But there was a ray of light and that appeared in the third game of India’s ODI series against Bangladesh when Ishan Kishan, who came into the team as an injury replacement for Rohit Sharma, showed to his colleagues how limited overs cricket should be played in the current age. The whole batting line-up should look to adopt the same mindset going forward and build the team around it.
India lack power at the top since 2020
Since their horrible ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2015 in Australia, England have changed their formula of playing the white ball game with an aggressive mindset of going after the bowlers fearlessly from the very first over of the game.
In the 24 innings India have played in 2022, they have scored at a run rate of just 4.83 in the first ten overs while England have scored at a run rate of 5.58 in the same period in 11 innings; in 2021, England were flying with an expressive scoring rate of 7.12 in the first powerplay of the ODI game.
India’s most regular opener in the last two years has been Shikhar Dhawan who had a decent 2022 in the ODI format, with 688 runs in 22 games at an average of 34.40, but his strike rate of 74.21 is never going to be up to the mark in this age. To add more, Dhawan has collected 1275 runs in 33 ODI games since 2020 at a strike rate of 81.36, with no century to his name.
Rohit Sharma has missed most of the games due to various reasons but in eight games this year, the India captain has piled up 249 runs at an excellent strike rate of 114.22 with three 50+ scores. It is noteworthy that Sharma has played just 13 ODI games since 2020 where he has been relatively impressive with 459 runs at a strike rate of 95.42.
In Rohit’s absence, Shubman Gill has emerged as one of the prolific openers in the 50-over format and he has stood up firmly in his job smashing 638 runs in 12 games this year at an average of 70.88 and strike rate of 102.57 including one fine century. On the other hand, Ishan Kishan in his limited chances this year has managed 417 runs in eight games at a strike rate of 109.73.
In comparison with England and Australia, India’s openers are behind in giving the team some really quick starts. Phil Salt who has played eight ODI games since 2021, has accumulated 389 runs at a strike rate of 130.97 including a century. Jason Roy too has a strike rate of 98.86 in the last two years with 612 runs in 26 games. Jonny Bairstow too has a strike rate of 104.31 in that period. For Australia, Travis Head has batted at a strike rate of 120.11, whereas his partner David Warner has scored at a rate of 93.81.
All these numbers show in the results for India in the last two years; they have won 21 ODI games besides losing 16 games along with couple of no-results since 2020. India have a few players like Prithvi Shaw who loves to play with full aggression, and the way in which Ishan Kishan scored that double century during the third ODI of the Bangladesh series, it has definitely set the tone for what the openers really need to do for the team in ODIs.
Ishan Kishan showed the way to play in middle overs
There was a refreshing change in India’s approach during the last ODI against Bangladesh that was mostly led by Ishan Kishan, who even after scoring his fifty or century, didn’t slow down at all in the middle overs. Kishan didn’t follow the formula in which teams tend to go slower in the middle phase, before maximising their runs in the last ten overs of the game.
Kishan displayed full intent on picking up the boundaries for his close to two-hour stint at the crease; if the bowlers pitched the ball short, Kishan pulled square; the very next ball saw a man going back in that region, as Kishan decided to flick-pull over short fine leg. In case of defending square, Kishan went over the extra fielder who was kept at mid-off or mid-on. There was so little margin of error available for the bowlers against such a batter.
Numbers back the intent shown by Ishan Kishan who scored 177 runs in 91 balls during the 11th over to the 40th over, while the second best in the list is Virender Sehwag who scored 153 runs in 106 deliveries against West Indies at Indore in 2011.
Kishan’s odd miscues on the day were going over the fence. He scored 156 runs, thanks to his 24 boundaries and 10 maximums out of his 210-run knock in 131 balls, and it is almost the same like Rohit Sharma who too after getting set never releases the tempo. The day when Rohit smashed that 264* against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in 2014, he had 186 runs coming from boundaries with 33 fours and nine maximums.
“Everyone who comes here has earned the right to be here with their performances,” Kishan expressed how tough it generally becomes to make it to the India team of late. “They have all batted in different positions to get here; so, I can’t complain that I want to bat at a certain position and at this level, you get few opportunities to break in.”
“The wicket was too good to bat on; my intent was very clear - if the ball is there, I’ll go for it,” Kishan who would bring an extra option of wicketkeeper at the top, spoke about his new style of play. “Still feel when I got out, 15 overs were left and (I) could’ve scored 300 also.”
Kishan’s aggressive mindset this year
When Ishan Kishan came to the scene against Sri Lanka in 2021, he scored just 60 runs in two innings, but those runs came at a quick pace which reflected in his strike rate of 130.43.
When the team was preparing for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, India decided to play with a team without the regular members against the touring South Africa where Ishan Kishan got another golden opportunity to display his skills and he was phenomenal with 123 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 88.48. Playing with energy and lots of positivity is something India should look for in the upcoming home season where they will try to finalise their squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023.
Most of the batters in the team tend to assume the anchor role; so, someone needs to step up and start to punish bowlers from the beginning which will allow India to post a huge score in the final analysis. And Ishan Kishan should be offered a long run in the format in the upcoming home season.
India will now lock horns with Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI series which starts on January 10 at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati.