What Dhoni didn’t achieve, Ishan Kishan can do in Tests?

Like Jharkhand’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ishaan Kishan likes white ball cricket more than red ball cricket. Test cricket was not Dhoni’s favorite format, yet he came very close to the club of playing 100 Tests. Of late, Dhoni’s disciple Kishan may also get a chance to try his hand in Test cricket. But, the way Dhoni got a little bit of luck in the beginning of his career, now something similar seems to be happening with Kishan.

If Dhoni got opportunities in 2005 because his contemporary wicketkeepers like Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik could not cement their place in the team, then Kishan got this opportunity because of his contemporaries Rishabh Pant and then KL Rahul being unfit. During that period, Dhoni was supported by captain Sourav Ganguly, while Rohit Sharma played an important role in persuading the selectors to select Kishan. Both Rohit and Kishan are currently playing with Mumbai Indians and have known each other very well for a long time.

Many critics wondered why Wriddhiman Saha or Sanju Samson were not being taken to London as backup wicketkeepers. The answer is simple that Kishan was a part of Team India in the last Test series as well. In the last moments, KS Bharat and Suryakumar Yadav got the Test cap but Kishan’s claim was also very strong.

If we talk about Samson, then perhaps he will not consider himself the strongest contender in Test cricket at the moment because he does not play the role of wicketkeeper for his state Kerala.

As far as Saha is concerned, Rahul Dravid had told him last year itself that now he will focus on young wicketkeepers in future. Saha is currently scoring runs vigorously in this IPL and is also doing good wicketkeeping. That’s why former wicketkeeper Saba Qirb, who was also a selector till a few years ago, put his hand behind Saha’s claim before the selection of the WTC team. This talk of Saba Karim was supported by former captain and former coach of Team India, Anil Kumble. But, Dravid did not budge even a bit and now only Kishan has got the flight ticket to London. Perhaps if a very experienced player had been the chief selector, it could have been that Saha’s claim could have overshadowed Kishan for the only Test. Because in the first week of June, the Oval ground is not going to be easy for both the keeper and the batsman.

If you are wondering that what quality has Dravid seen in Kishan that he is favoring Kishan for a very important Test match in difficult conditions like England, then it is important to tell you that for the first time in the year 2016, Kishan When he became the captain for the Under-19 World Cup, Dravid was the mastermind behind it. At that time Dravid had considered Kishan as a better leader than Rishabh Pant as the head coach.

By the way, the best combination of positivity and aggression can be seen in Kishan’s thinking. A few months back, this writer had reached the stadium to meet Kishan in connection with his interview in Ranchi. An important question between the question and answer was that which is his favorite format. Kishan had told that he prefers white ball cricket but if ever he gets an opportunity to score a triple century in red ball in future, it would be the ultimate achievement. It means to say that he realized that he might not get a chance in Test cricket on a regular basis in the presence of Pant and KL Rahul, but his desire is to leave a unique mark of his own in the biggest format of cricket.

For 24-year-old Kishan, playing his first match in England can prove to be a very difficult challenge. Kishan, who started his career as a young and talented player of 17 years, has played only 48 first class matches in 8 years so far. He also played only two matches for Jharkhand in the last Ranji season and in none of these he played the role of keeper. For India A, the selectors gave chances to Saha, Bharat and Upendra Yadav in 15 matches in the last four years, while Kishan played only 2 matches during this period.

Despite this, if Kishan was given priority for the great match against Australia in the Oval, then it is because if someone like Rishabh Pant can show 50 percent amazing performance in Test matches, then it is Patna’s Kishan.

Dhoni has won T20 and ODI World Cup as captain but never got a chance to play in WTC. In a conversation with this writer a few months back, Kishan had said that if he could achieve even 70 per cent of Dhoni’s success in his career, it would be a big deal for him. Six months ago, Kishan probably would not have thought that he would be a strong contender to play a very important Test in England. If luck favors the wicket-keeper batsman from Jharkhand again this time, who knows, Kishan may end up with the medal that even Dhoni lacks – a win in the World Test Championship! If this is indeed the case, what more could there be for Kishan in a brilliantly scripted Laal Ball?

Tags: Ishan Kishan, ms dhoni, WTC Final

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