Friday, May 24

Ishan Kishan’s Remarkable Journey: From Practicing Cricket in MS Dhoni’s Hometown to Shining Against Pakistan

Ishan Kishan’s Remarkable Journey: From Practicing Cricket in MS Dhoni’s Hometown to Shining Against Pakistan

Dhoni initially rose to prominence with a spectacular century against Pakistan, and now, Ishan Kishan’s first display of maturity has also taken place against the same formidable opponent.

“He has always been a very positive boy. I have known him for the past 13 years. Ishan, Monu Kumar (Jharkhand seamer), and myself, we have spent so much time together. I was the one who taught him how to cook Maggi,” Satyam chuckled, recalling their shared experiences. Ishan’s response reflected his determination: “Fight karenge bhaiya… scoring against Pakistan at No 5 might prove to be a game-changer for me,” he declared over the phone from Kandy, showing his unwavering resolve even when faced with a challenging situation.


Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan


Ishan Kishan’s move to a SAIL quarter in Doranda, Ranchi, at the age of 12 marked a significant chapter in his life. Sharing the flat with two individuals twice his age, he faced new challenges, including culinary ones. Satyam reminisced, “They used to cook food, and Ishan, who had no clue about cooking, was given the job to clean the utensils.” Satyam continued, “One day I asked him what he had for dinner, he said ‘chips and coke.’ That’s when I took it upon myself to teach him how to cook Maggi.

It quickly became his go-to meal after that, and it’s safe to say he mastered the art of Maggi-making.” This small yet significant lesson in cooking demonstrated Ishan’s ability to adapt and learn, qualities that would serve him well in his cricketing journey.

On Saturday, when Ishan Kishan stepped onto the field to bat at the unfamiliar No. 5 position, he demonstrated remarkable adaptability during his impressive knock of 82. Satyam Kumar attributed this seamless transition to a specific aspect of Ishan’s cricket upbringing. “He has played all his cricket on a matting wicket, whether in Patna or Ranchi. In Bihar and Jharkhand, only Jamshedpur had turf wickets due to the presence of Keenan Stadium.

In Ranchi, the first turf wicket was at JSCA International Stadium, inaugurated in 2013,” Satyam explained. He added, “Ishan may not possess the elegance of some left-handed batsmen, but he is a destructive force who knows how to accumulate runs. This style of play is ingrained in the DNA of Ranchi cricket. Even Mahi bhaiya (MS Dhoni) used to play similarly,” emphasizing the aggressive yet effective style of cricket that both Ishan Kishan and the legendary MS Dhoni share.

There is indeed something special about the locality of Doranda in Ranchi. It has given India two exceptional wicketkeepers – the legendary MS Dhoni and the emerging talent Ishan Kishan, who recently showcased his prowess at the international level. MS Dhoni’s cricketing journey had its roots at the MECON cricket stadium, while Ishan’s journey began at SAIL’s cricket ground, located just a kilometer away from Dhoni’s home.

Twelve years ago, when MS Dhoni famously struck that winning six at Wankhede Stadium, which was approximately 1740 kilometers away in Patna, a 12-year-old boy was busy packing his bags in Patna, preparing to make the move to Ranchi in pursuit of a brighter and more promising cricketing future.

Arun Vidyarthi, a dedicated cricket coach in Ranchi, played a pivotal role in facilitating Ishan Kishan’s move from Patna to Ranchi. He recalled that when he expressed his belief that the young talent might someday represent India, people at SAIL, where Ishan was destined to begin his cricketing journey, responded with laughter and skepticism. However, Ishan’s journey and subsequent achievements have certainly silenced any doubters, proving that dreams and determination can indeed lead to remarkable success.

“Ranchi se ek Dhoni kaafi hai (One Dhoni from Ranchi is enough),” they taunted me,” Arun Vidyarthi recollected with a smile. He understood that their skepticism was understandable since they hadn’t witnessed Ishan’s batting prowess at that point. Arun continued, “It took me a week to convince them that Ishan is good. They eventually agreed to give him a chance. I remember he batted at number 7 and remained unbeaten on 28. That remarkable knock earned him a contract from SAIL, along with a stipend of Rs 3000,” highlighting how Ishan Kishan’s talent couldn’t be overlooked, and he began to pave his way toward cricketing success.

In Ranchi, Satyam and Monu became pillars of support, making Ishan Kishan’s transition smoother. Arun Vidyarthi played a significant role in securing him a contract. However, it was Santosh Kumar, a cricket coach in Patna, who played a persistent and crucial role in Ishan’s journey. Santosh continuously reached out to Vidyarthi, urging him to come and witness Ishan’s talent on the field. His unwavering belief in Ishan’s potential proved to be a driving force in ensuring that Ishan’s talent did not go unnoticed.

“Bihar cricket was facing a ban from the BCCI, and there was a severe drought of cricketing opportunities in the region. When Arun bhai reached out to me about SAIL searching for a wicketkeeper-batsman, I immediately thought of Ishan. Initially, Arun didn’t show much excitement, citing Ishan’s age. However, when he finally came to watch Ishan in action—observing both his batting and wicketkeeping skills—he changed his stance and told me to bring Ishan to Ranchi, assuring that he would take care of everything,” Santosh Kumar fondly remembered. This decision to recognize Ishan’s potential and provide him with an opportunity would prove to be a turning point in the young cricketer’s life.

The proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ truly encapsulates Ishan Kishan’s cricketing journey. It all began nearly 19 years ago when he accompanied his elder brother, Raj Kishan, to the Bihar Cricket Academy at the Moin-ul-Haq Cricket Stadium in Patna. At that time, Uttam Mazumdar, the head coach at the academy, initially rejected Ishan due to his young age. However, Raj was persistent and insisted that he be given a chance to face a few balls; otherwise, he would burst into tears.

Reflecting on that decision, Mazumdar expressed, “I can’t believe I rejected him once. Now, look at him. What a remarkable innings he has played. He has truly earned his place now.” Mazumdar, who is now based in Noida, continued to praise Ishan’s determination, saying, “I still believe he should open or bat at number 3, but this boy possesses the tenacity of a boxer. He will never back down.” Ishan’s journey is a testament to the resilience and determination that has brought him to where he is today.

Ishan Kishan may not be MS Dhoni, and it’s important to acknowledge that he has a long journey ahead of him. However, his impressive performance against Pakistan, while batting at No. 5, undoubtedly stirred a sense of déjà vu among Indian cricket fans. Someone from Ranchi has been a savior for India in numerous challenging situations, and now, from the very same city and locality, emerges another cricketer who has shown great promise and the potential to follow in the footsteps of the legendary MS Dhoni.

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