‘It is not in my hands’ – Kishan not thinking about T20 World Cup selection

India

Ishan Kishan has revealed that a personal break while on tour of South Africa last December had helped him adopt a ‘good mindset’ and that he was not fretting over cementing a spot in the T20 World Cup squad.

Kishan last appeared for India in November 2023 during the T20I series against Australia and returned to competitive cricket in February when he played for Reserve Bank of India in the DY Patil T20 Cup. Since taking the personal break, he has not been considered for any of the subsequent national assignments, and India head coach Rahul Dravid had emphasised the need for Kishan to play domestic cricket to make his comeback.

“About the World Cup, it is not in my hands and I am taking things very easy right now,” he said on Thursday, after starring with a 34-ball 69 against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru to help Mumbai win by seven wickets. “You have to take one match at a time. One needs to understand that a lot is not in the hands of the players.

“It’s (IPL) a very big tournament and you do not want to overstep. I am just taking one game at a time and however I can help the team, (my motto is) let’s do it.”

“I was practising only [during the break]. When you take a break, people gossip about it a lot, they say a lot of things on social media,” Kishan said after the match. “But I feel it’s important to understand not everything is in players’ hands. We can only make the best use of the break. This is what adopting a good mindset is.”

The wicketkeeper-batter has been in the headlines for the two last months, initially for prioritising a T20 tournament over the Ranji Trophy and then losing out on the BCCI annual contract. Shreyas Iyer, like Kishan, was also not considered for the central contract for the period between October 2023 to September 2024 as the board took a serious step after they missed domestic cricket.

However, back in Mumbai Indians colours now, Kishan has hit 161 runs from five innings at a strike rate of 182.95. He is also the Mumbai’s highest run-getter now and his form has helped the side put three losses behind and get back to winning ways in their last two games.

However, Kishan did not want to see his performance as a tool to prove a point to his detractors.

“There is nothing like that (that) I want to prove to someone. I just have to go there and enjoy. I have learned that you do not have to add pressure on yourself about these things which are not in your hand. You have to figure out what are (your) controllables and what are (your) uncontrollables.

“If I were the old Ishan Kishan, I might not have left the good deliveries in the first two overs. I would have been in pressure. But with time I have learned that even 20 overs are a lot and you can take your time. You can have the belief and move forward. So all these things helped me in that gap also. Now we lost some games here, but I feel most of the players, not just me, were keen to work with everyone. It was never about us individually performing well for the team and not knowing what other players were going through. So I also know if someone is not doing well, how they feel.

“So these things also changed in me that even when I am not performing, if I know someone isn’t feel good, let’s talk to them, let’s know what their mindset is. So these things have happened after that break.”

Hardik ‘loves challenges’, fans ‘will start loving him’

Hardik Pandya might have been at the receiving end of fans’ ire in this IPL, but Kishan has little doubt that the Mumbai captain is “enjoying the challenge” of winning them over.

Pandya, who replaced Rohit Sharma at the helm before the start of this IPL, has been consistently getting booed by the spectators inside the stadium and the situation was no different on Thursday night at the Wankhede.

“He (Pandya) loves challenges, he has been in this situation before and he is in that situation right now,” Kishan said.” He is not someone who will come out and talk about it and say let’s stop this or that. I know that he must be enjoying it. I know him personally. I have spent a lot of time with him. He is ready for the challenges because you cannot complain to the fans, they will come up with their explanations and their point of views.”

Kishan said Hardik could turn all anger around with his performances.

“But knowing how Hardik Pandya thinks, he is happy with people doing it but I know that in the coming games he will do it with the bat and people will start loving him (again). People also recognise your hard work, what you are going through and still you are doing so well for your team. I think people do recognise that.”

“Our fans will be a little harsh on you but at the same time when you do well, or when you show that it is (still) not bothering you and (that) you are in a very good headspace, that might change. If not today, tomorrow. If not tomorrow, day after tomorrow.”

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