Former India player Irfan Pathan believes Ishan Kishan’s inability to rotate the strike can go against him if he bats in the middle overs on spin-friendly surfaces. Kishan hit 33 runs off 61 deliveries as India set a 214-run target in their Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash in Colombo on Tuesday, September 12. India then bowled out the hosts for 172 to register a 41-run win and reached the final on Sunday.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Pathan said: “If you don’t rotate the strike, you will find it very difficult going forward. It’s not that you will get a flat wicket every time or you will get to face fast bowling always. What you did in Kandy, you got to see a leg-spinner (Shadab Khan) who didn’t have the confidence. Here we saw that you offered dead defense even against a part-time bowler who was taking the ball away from you. So this is one thing which he needs to improve and if he does that, it will be very good for him.”
However, Ishan Kishan walked out to bat when India lost Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli’s wickets quickly and they lost Rohit Sharma also. He further added 63 runs for the fourth wicket with KL Rahul but couldn’t do well. Irfan Pathan also said that Ishan Kishan is better off batting in the top order in spin-friendly conditions as well. Rahul scored 39 runs off 44 deliveries as well.
He said, “Yes, we have seen improvement in the last little while. That comes while playing, working on it, and the confidence you get by scoring runs as well. That’s why I am saying that where the ball turns, Ishan Kishan’s position is better against the new ball. It’s not that he cannot do it if he works on it and tries to take singles and doubles because nothing happens with dead defense. He wasn’t even trying to look for singles. The biggest example is KL Rahul, who was playing on the back foot. He was taking limited risks to get singles.”
Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan has applauded Axar Patel for playing an important knock towards the end of India’s innings against Sri Lanka. Axar scored 26 runs off 36 deliveries as well.
He said: “We have spoken about everyone, about bowling and fielding, but we should remember Axar Patel’s knock at the end as well because eventually he played an extremely crucial role. If that had not happened, Dunith Wellalage had taken his team very close to our score. So he (Axar) too had a contribution although he might be slightly disappointed with his bowling. A lot of positives, we are seeing the results of the things the Indian team is doing.”
“The Indian team has looked extremely different and extremely strong. A massive difference has been seen between the other teams and India. It is definitely true that anything can happen in a match. We saw today (Tuesday) that the Indian team which scored 350 a day ago couldn’t even cross the 200-run mark because the conditions became different. So we saw this team respecting the conditions as well,” Irfan Pathan concluded.