Veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has picked Ishan Kishan as his Player of the Match for the first T20I between Team India and Sri Lanka. He smashed 89 runs off just 56 balls after having faced a series of poor shows against the West Indies. He added a 111-run opening partnership with Rohit Sharma as India set a 200-run target for the Lankans.
While reviewing the match in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “My Player of the Match has to be Ishandaar Kishan. Kishan was on a mission because I was one of those people who were saying that he is a disruptive, destructive player but the strike rate is down currently. He was roaming around a run-a-ball in the entire West Indies series and that’s not ideal. You want the left and right-handed combination, you know he has the ability but if you don’t do that job consistently at the international level, then questions will be asked.”
Ishan Kishan scored just 71 runs at a lowly strike rate of 85.54 in the three-match T20I series against the West Indies side. Aakash Chopra highlighted that his spot was uncertain while going into the encounter. However, he smacked 10 fours and three sixes as well.
He explained: “Ruturaj [Gaikwad] is sitting out, after that Prithvi Shaw is there and then they will say KL Rahul can also open. There are plenty of options, in fact Virat Kohli and Rohit [Sharma] can also form a pair. So, he didn’t flounder but shone under pressure.”
“What an amazing knock he played. He hit fours and sixes in his 89-run knock and demolished the opposing team. He got one life for sure, but the manner in which he continued to bat, the areas in which he kept playing his shots, the intent he showed – this is the Ishan Kishan we generally know,” he further added.
Aakash Chopra has also lauded Shreyas Iyer for playing the finisher’s role in the first T20I against Sri Lanka. He scored an unbeaten 57 off just 28 deliveries to help Team India post a huge score of 199 runs.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “Shreyas Iyer on fire. He came to bat at No. 3 but it was the 12th over. The first wicket fell at 11.5 overs at a score of 111. So last eight overs, you are no longer a No. 3 batter, you are almost like a finisher.”
He continued: “He played the role of a finisher. He scored 19 or so runs off the first 15 deliveries but after that, fours and sixes galore. He was moving in the crease but kept the head still. He hits the ball in different angles, hits straight sixes while keeping the head down.”
Aakash Chopra explained: “Rohit Sharma batted fantastically, he also kept on hitting the boundaries. Generally, he used to be aggressive but Ishan Kishan started to hit this time, so he allowed him to do that and played a little cautiously himself. He has to play a little cautiously because such a young side was playing.”
“The Sri Lankan bowling looked very ordinary. We must also mention that Theekshana is injured, Waninindu Hasaranga is still getting positive COVID-19 results. An already weak team became even weaker, which is very unfortunate. I didn’t feel the bowling changes were impressive as well,” Aakash Chopra concluded.