IND vs SA 2022: Irfan Pathan on Ishan Kishan’s T20 World Cup prospects

Irfan Pathan has pointed out that Ishan Kishan is putting his best foot forward to be selected in Team India‘s squad for the T20 World Cup later this year.

Kishan smashed 54 runs off 35 balls in the third T20I against South Africa on Tuesday, June 14. His knock helped the Men In Blue set a challenging 180-run target for the Proteas and Rishabh Pant’s side went on to win the match by 48 runs.

During a discussion on Star Sports, Irfan Pathan was asked about Ishan Kishan presenting his case for India’s T20 World Cup squad. He responded:

“He showed that he is fully ready. He has been criticized at times, that he doesn’t play his natural game, that he plays under pressure, but if he runs fast, you get an option of a left-handed batter as an opener.”

The former Indian all-rounder highlighted the advantage of fielding a left-right opening combination. Pathan said:

“A right and left-handed combination makes a huge difference to any team when the ball is moving and the pitch has extra bounce. So you are saying that you are present here and performing very well.”

Kishan has certainly thrown his hat in the ring to be included in Team India’s T20 World Cup squad. The diminutive southpaw has smashed 164 runs at an excellent strike rate of 157.69 in the three T20Is against the Proteas thus far.

“His off-side play is looking much better” – Irfan Pathan on Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan has worked on his off-side game [P/C: BCCI]
Ishan Kishan has worked on his off-side game [P/C: BCCI]

Irfan Pathan added that Kishan has shown marked improvements in his game, explaining:

“If he continues performing like this, the Mission Melbourne or Australia we are talking about, he is trying his best to seal his spot at least in the squad. The way he is playing, he is trying to play intelligently and his off-side play is looking much better.”

The 37-year-old also lauded Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad for pacing the innings meticulously in Tuesday’s encounter. Pathan stated:

“There was help for the bowlers at the start, the ball was moving around, if you talk about Parnell or Rabada, and it was not easy, so it was important to manage that time and both (Kishan and Gaikwad) of them did that, and when Nortje’s over came, you hit five boundaries and got the momentum.”

Kishan and Gaikwad strung together a 97-run partnership for the opening wicket in just 10 overs. They scored just 28 runs off the first four overs of the Indian innings before Gaikwad took Anrich Nortje to the cleaners, with 20 runs coming off the fifth over.

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Edited by Sai Krishna