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Match Analysis

Kishan: I was in the zone to get 300, but unfortunately I didn't

India batter on how he keeps himself motivated when the chances are not coming his way

Sidharth Monga
Sidharth Monga
It is difficult to get a game for India, let alone a decent run in the side or a choice of a spot to bat in. Ishan Kishan knows it. He knows everyone knows it. He doesn't want to take any consolation out of it. After becoming the fastest double-centurion in ODI history, Kishan said he had to be ready to give his best whenever he got that chance.
Kishan scored 93 in his penultimate game before this series, but could not find a place in the XI for five ODIs after that. Here, too, he might not have played had Rohit Sharma been fit. When he got in, Kishan batted with such daring that he could even think of a triple-century.
At the post-match press conference, Kishan was asked how he keeps himself motivated when the chances are not coming his way.
"I look at other big players," Kishan said. "Their fitness, their approach. The way Virat [Kohli] bhai prepares, the way Rohit bhai approaches, I spend a lot of time with Hardik [Pandya] bhai. One thing I have learned is that performance matters but what matters more is preparation and giving 100% for your country even when you are not performing. One thing I have learned from watching them is whatever opportunity I get, I don't want any regrets once it is done. I want to be prepared and ready to perform."
What about the batting position then? Does he want to keep opening now that he has scored this double hundred there? "Everyone who comes here has earned the right to be here with their performances," Kishan said. "They have all batted in different positions to get here. So I can't complain that I want to bat only at a certain position. At this level, if you get a chance, you have to make the most of it. At this level, you get few opportunities to break in. A big player becomes big by grabbing such opportunities."
Kishan can understand how difficult it can get for those making decisions with so much talent to choose from. He saw that relief in coach Rahul Dravid's reaction to his knock. "Rahul bhai was very happy," Kishan said. "He knows he is not able to give chances to everybody because our team is so good so it weighs on him. So he was very happy that I did well in this opportunity."
It was an audacious performance where he had to take a little bit of time on a pitch that started tacky, but he never held back in the middle overs. His is the earliest anyone has got to a double-hundred in a team innings. In fact the unthinkable looked possible when he got out trying to hit his 11th six of the day.
"When I got out, 15 overs were left," Kishan said. "That's 90 balls. If you play 45 balls, it's easy to get another hundred when you are that set. Bowlers are under pressure. I was in the zone to get 300, but unfortunately I didn't… But it was special one to get my name up there with so many legend players."
The thing with such knocks and landmarks is that if you think of them you can't play in the manner required to get there. That's what Kishan did right, just looking to attack throughout on a pitch that he liked. "I was just batting," Kishan said. "I was just waiting for the loose balls to come. After a while I thought I am there now. When I was at around 95 or 97, I thought I will score my hundred. After that I was not batting for two hundred. I was just smacking the ball."
Where does Kishan go from now? What if Rohit comes back and Shikhar Dhawan continues to open with him? "I don't know," Kishan said. "I don't think these things. All I can do is, whenever I get my chance, I want to do well. I don't want to talk, I want to let the bat talk. Whether there is a place for me or not."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo