Although South Africa defeated India by 7 wickets, thanks to a brilliant chase scripted by David Miller and Rassie van der Dussen, Indian opener Ishan Kishan starred for his side in the first T20i at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, scoring 76 off 48 deliveries.
The batter had already been part of India’s T20 plans and is opening the innings in the series due to the absence of seasoned openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. However, the wicket-keeping batter seems to be mindful of the fact that he is not the first choice opener yet.
“They (Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul) are world class players. I won’t ask for my spot when they are there. My job is to give my best in the practice sessions. Whenever I get the opportunity, I have to prove myself and do well for the team. So I focus on my process and what I have to do,” said the 23-year-old in the post-match press conference.
“They have done so much, scored so many runs for our country, I cannot ask them to drop themselves and make me play in the first place. I have to keep doing my thing, it’s up to the selectors and the coaches whatever they think, but my job is to give my best whenever I get my chance.”
The left-hander, who struggled to get going initially, eventually changed gears and brought on his third T20i century in 37 balls. However, it was specifically in the 13th over that Maharaj came in to bowl the 13th over, scoring 20 runs before being caught in the penultimate ball of the over.
“I think initially we knew the wicket is not easy to get going, it would be tough for the batters coming in first down or second down. My plan was to target the loose balls because powerplay overs are very important in T20 game and you need to put pressure on the bowlers,” he added.
“Our plan was to take it one ball at a time. We need to give respect to the good balls, Nortje and Rabada are experienced bowlers, they have done so well for their country. My plan was to keep them on the backfoot, keep playing my shots so that they are also thinking, and they move their line and length,” said Kishan.