Ishan Kishan and MS Dhoni © AFP
Ishan Kishan and MS Dhoni © AFP

Ishan Kishan has been in fine nick for Mumbai Indians (MI) scoring 151 runs in the 5 games of VIVO IPL 2018 so far at 30.20 and strike rate of 145.19. It also includes a fifty that came against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Sunday. His wicketkeeping skills is an added advantage for MI to ensure they can play an extra batsman or bowler at the time of need. However, all these skills were not gifted to the youngster. They were honed under one man – MS Dhoni.

Ishan and Dhoni’s relation dates back to Jharkhand days during 2016-17 Ranji Trophy days. It was one of the best seasons for Ishan who amassed 799 runs in 10 games that season at an average of 57.07.

In a chat with CricketNext, Ishan revealed how Dhoni taught the youngster to curb his attacking skills and improvised his batting techniques: “Dhoni bhai saw me at the nets and walked up to me and said that I needed to curtail my attacking instincts to begin with. He believed that to play a long innings I needed to be a little more compact and I did just that. He asked me to change my stance as well and when it comes from someone like Dhoni bhai, you know you can trust his observation.”

Apart from Virat Kohli who is a fitness freak, Dhoni also is a staunch supporter of the concept. Dhoni during the Ranji season had arranged for fitness camp that gave him an idea on how to go about during intense competitions like IPL: “Dhoni bhai puts a lot of emphasis on fitness. As we all know, he loves to stay at the top of his fitness level. And this time, he ensured that we also worked on our fitness at the start of the season. It was obviously something that wasn’t too common with the domestic teams, but the experience was out of the world.”

Ishan did not have a great run in Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season. Ishan did get the starts but failed convert them into big scores. IPL has been a breakthrough season for young Ishan. Despite being hit under the eye during the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Ishan was back in action for the next game against RR.