Ahmedabad: Ishan Kishan was expectedly nervous ahead of his maiden international assignment at the senior level. He must have received copious advice from coaches, teammates, friends and family but one particular stood out – play like the way you have been doing in IPL. And the result was a half-century on debut for the former India U-19 captain.

Facing an attack comprising Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid, Kishan, who opened the innings, belted 56 off 32 with five fours and four sixes making a memorable entry into international cricket. “Obviously, it is not pressure to play for India, it is a privilege and proud feeling to represent your country and wear the blue jersey,” the 22-year-old said during a post-match media interaction.

“Before the match I was told to go and open the innings and play freely the way I play in IPL. I was told not to take extra pressure. But it being my first game I was little nervous while going at the ground. But when you wear the jersey of your country that pressure simply goes away and you try to give your best,” he added.

Kishan represents Mumbai Indians in the IPL and plays alongside some of the most illustrious names in international cricket. Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah are his teammates and facing them in the nets has prepared him well for quality pace attack.

“It obviously helped in the nets. They are very pacy bowlers and to hit shots against them gives confidence,” he said. “In IPL you get to face quality bowlers from across the world and you start getting used to these bowlers. And I think that really helped me.”

India sauntered to the target of 165 to draw level at one-all in the five-match T20I series, a contest that also saw captain Virat Kohli’s return to form. Kohli remained unbeaten on 73 off 49, an innings laced with five fours and three sixes.

Together with Kohli, Kishan added 94 runs for the second wicket after India were jolted early when opener KL Rahul was dismissed for a six-ball duck. “It was proud feeling for me because I had just seen him (Kohli) on TV, his attitude on the ground, but to see it from the other end is totally different. I think it is something which I can change in myself, his energy, his appearance on the ground , there is a lot to learn from him. The way he talks in the ground it takes pressure from you. I just want to make sure that I learn a lot from him in this series,” Kishan said.

Kishan is aware that he may have opened the innings on debut but it may not always be the case. “I feel that as you play higher levels in cricket, there’s no fixed spot for you. It’s not like you will only open; you keep on floating. Like there’s a lot of emphasis on left-right combination these days, so I don’t think of any spot, I play the situation. I try to do whatever the team needs from me,” he said.