Ishan Kishan is only 22 years old right now but he has been around for quite a long time. In fact, he made his Indian T20 League debut four years back in 2016 and has always been hailed as one of the brightest young batting talents in Indian cricket.
However, despite having heaps of talent and potential, what Kishan lacked all these years was consistency. Until last year, Kishan had 695 runs to his name in the Indian T20 League at an average and strike-rate of 24.8 and 130.9 respectively. But these numbers weren't good enough for a batsman who has batted majorly in the top four.
Out of the 33 occasions he batted in the league between 2016 and 2019, Kishan went past the 30-run mark only nine times. That means, he registered a 30+ score in only 27 percent of the innings he batted, and that isn't an acceptable figure at all.
He was even dropped from the Mumbai side midway into the Indian T20 League last year. Kishan had a very poor outing last season as he amassed only 101 runs in seven matches at a meagre average of 17.83. It was his temperament and poor shot selections that were letting him down.
However, Kishan has made a stellar comeback this season. He has played 11 out of Mumbai's 13 matches in this edition of the T20 League thus far, amassing 395 runs at an excellent average and strike-rate of 49.37 and 143.63 respectively.
Moreover, Kishan has three fifties to his name in this season which is equal to his combined tally of fifties in the last four seasons. That sums up the kind of consistency he has brought into his game.
Opportunities didn't come easy for Kishan this season though. He didn't start in the first two matches as Saurabh Tiwary had been preferred over him. But he got his much-awaited chance when Tiwary picked up an injury a couple of matches later, and Kishan announced his arrival with a stellar knock of 99 in the match against Bangalore. His knock couldn't help Mumbai to a win as he got dismissed in the last over, but it did take them to the Super Over. Mumbai were reeling at 16/2 while chasing a target of 202 runs and it was Kishan's knock that got them so close.
He kept contributing with some consistent 20s and 30s in the middle-order after that, but it was his elevation to the opening slot ever since Rohit Sharma got injured that unleashed the beast inside him.
Kishan has gone on to amass 202 runs while opening the innings for Mumbai in the last four matches now and that too, at a sensational average and strike-rate of 101.00 and 145.32 respectively. His scores in the last four innings read 72*, 25, 37 and 68. That sums up how good he has been at the top of the order.
While most of the other Indian wicketkeeper-batsmen like Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and Dinesh Karthik have had their struggles this season, Kishan hasn't let the opportunities slip away from him at all. A call-up to the national team won't be far if Kishan can keep his consistency going till the end of this tournament.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Mumbai