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IPL 2024: Ishan Kishan breaks his silence on BCCI contract snub, Ranji Trophy row after MI's win over RCB

Having last represented India in November 2023 during the T20I series against Australia, Ishan Kishan found himself embroiled in controversy after requesting a break during India's tour of South Africa in December.

IPL 2024: Ishan Kishan breaks his silence on BCCI contract snub, Ranji Trophy row after MI's win over RCB snt
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First Published Apr 12, 2024, 12:49 PM IST

Introducing Ishan Kishan 2.0: In this iteration of the wicketkeeper-batsman, prioritizing personal growth and contributing to Mumbai Indians' success in the IPL 2024 takes precedence over solely aiming for a spot in India's T20 World Cup squad.

Kishan's explosive 34-ball 69 against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru serves as evidence of his evolved mindset, which he developed during a recent break from cricket.

Also read: IPL 2024: MI's Ishan Kishan says Hardik Pandya loves challenges, believes fans will start loving him soon

“About the World Cup, it is not in my hands and I am taking things very easy right now. You have to take one match at a time. One needs to understand that a lot is not in the hands of the players,” said Kishan in the post-match press meet.

“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,” he added.

Having last represented India in November 2023 during the T20I series against Australia, Ishan Kishan found himself embroiled in controversy after requesting a break during India's tour of South Africa in December.

The 25-year-old's absence from subsequent national assignments led to India head coach Rahul Dravid stressing the importance of Kishan playing domestic cricket to earn his comeback.

Both Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were omitted from the BCCI central contract for the period between October 2023 and September 2024, as the board expressed serious concerns over Kishan's decision to skip domestic cricket.

Despite the challenges, Kishan utilized the period to refine his cricketing skills. He made a competitive return to cricket in February, representing the Reserve Bank of India in the DY Patil T20 Cup. Additionally, he engaged in training sessions with MI skipper Hardik Pandya at a private facility in Baroda.

“I was practicing as well as I could,” Kishan replied when asked what he did during his break from cricket.

“I had taken (an) off (time) and when you take an off, a lot of it is gets spoken about on social media,” said Kishan.

“What we can do is that if you have taken time (out) for yourself, use it the best way possible for yourself,” he said.

In this IPL season, Kishan's efforts have been evident, as he currently stands as the leading run-scorer for MI, amassing 161 runs from five matches. His blistering strike rate of 182.95 at the top of the order has provided his team with crucial early momentum.

Despite his impressive performances, Kishan remains adamant about not viewing his achievements as a means to silence his critics.

“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,” he said.

“This is where getting a good mindset works. The Ishan Kishan of the past would not have left the balls alone if the bowling was good in the first two overs. But with time I have learned that a 20-over game is also very long and you can take your time and move forward while keeping the belief in yourself,” he said.

Kishan emphasized the importance of empathy as a quality he aimed to cultivate within himself, using MI's challenging start to this IPL season as a context to illustrate its significance.

Also read: IPL 2024: Ishan, SKY fire MI to 7-wicket win over RCB; Kohli hugs Hardik, Siraj bows to Bumrah (WATCH)

“These were the few things which helped me in the period and even now. We (MI) lost (a few) matches but most of the players were keen to work with the rest. It was never about us performing well individually and not knowing what other players are going through,” he said.

Indeed, Kishan can relate to the experience firsthand, having been in a similar situation not long ago.

“I also know when someone is not doing well, how they feel like. I also felt it changed for me, that if someone is not doing well then let’s talk to them and find their mindset. I think all these changes have helped me after the break,” he added.

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