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Unexpected Transition: Ishan’s Journey to Batting at No. 5
Satyam Kumar messaged Ishan Kishan with a curious inquiry about his batting position for India’s upcoming match against Pakistan. Ishan responded that he might be batting at No. 5. This unexpected role led Satyam, Ishan’s former roommate at the Sports Authority of India (SAIL) hostel in Ranchi, to call and offer encouragement, recognizing that this was an unfamiliar position for Ishan.
Ishan, always displaying a positive attitude, replied, “Fight karenge bhaiya… scoring against Pakistan at No. 5 might prove to be a game-changer for me.” Satyam, who had known Ishan for 13 years, fondly recalled their time together, including how he had taught Ishan to prepare Maggi.
From Maggi to Masterful Cricket: Ishan’s Early Days in Ranchi
Ishan’s cricketing journey began when he moved to a SAIL quarter in Doranda, Ranchi, at the age of 12. Sharing the flat with two older roommates who were responsible for cooking, Ishan was tasked with cleaning the utensils. Maggi soon became his preferred meal, thanks to Satyam’s guidance.
During the match against Pakistan, Ishan Kishan stepped up to bat at No. 5, a new role for him. However, his outstanding performance, scoring 82 runs, showcased his adaptability and versatility.
Satyam emphasized that Ishan’s smooth transition was a result of his extensive experience playing on matting wickets, whether in Patna or Ranchi. Unlike some elegant left-handed batters, Ishan’s style is more destructive, reflecting the cricketing DNA of Ranchi, which also characterizes MS Dhoni’s approach to the game.
The locality of Doranda in Ranchi has produced two Indian wicketkeepers: MS Dhoni and Ishan Kishan. Dhoni’s cricketing journey began at the MECON cricket stadium, while Ishan’s started at SAIL’s cricket ground, located just a kilometer away from Dhoni’s residence.
Twelve years ago, when MS Dhoni hit the iconic winning six at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, a 12-year-old Ishan Kishan was packing his bags in Patna, preparing to move to Ranchi in pursuit of a brighter cricketing future.
The Relocation that Changed Everything: From Patna to Ranchi
Arun Vidyarthi, a cricket coach in Ranchi who played a pivotal role in bringing Ishan from Patna to Ranchi, faced skepticism from people at SAIL when he expressed his belief that Ishan might play for India one day. They questioned the need for another Dhoni from Ranchi. However, after witnessing Ishan’s talent in a match where he batted at No. 7 and remained unbeaten on 28, SAIL offered him a contract and a stipend of Rs 3000.
Satyam and Monu Kumar made Ishan’s life in Ranchi easier, while Vidyarthi helped him secure a contract. However, it was Santosh Kumar, a cricket coach in Patna, who persistently urged Vidyarthi to see Ishan play.
It Takes a Village: Ishan Kishan’s Cricketing Odyssey
Bihar cricket faced challenges due to BCCI’s ban, leading to a lack of cricketing opportunities in the state. When Arun Vidyarthi informed Santosh that SAIL was looking for a wicketkeeper-batsman, Santosh recommended Ishan despite initial reservations about his age. After watching Ishan bat and keep wickets, Vidyarthi was convinced and brought him to Ranchi, where everything fell into place.
From Patna to Stardom: Ishan Kishan’s Inspiring Cricketing Journey
Ishan Kishan’s cricketing journey embodies the proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’Approximately two decades ago, the inception of this remarkable journey unfolded when a young Ishan Kishan found himself accompanying his elder brother, Raj Kishan, to the illustrious Bihar Cricket Academy, nestled within the iconic Moin-ul-Haq Cricket Stadium in the vibrant city of Patna. Uttam Mazumdar, the head coach at the academy, initially rejected Ishan due to his tender age. However, after some persuasion from Raj, Mazumdar allowed Ishan to play a few balls, a decision he would later come to cherish.
Today, Ishan Kishan is not MS Dhoni, but his remarkable performance against Pakistan while batting at No. 5 undoubtedly evoked a sense of déjà vu among Indian cricket fans. Ranchi has produced saviors for India from challenging situations in the past, and in Ishan Kishan, the same city and locality have found a promising talent.
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