Lucknow: Opener Ishan Kishan on Thursday said skipper Rohit Sharma’s belief helped him overcome a dip in form to smash 89 and lead India to a 62-run win over Sri Lanka in the opening Twenty20 international.
The left-handed Kishan put on an opening stand of 111 with Rohit, who hit 44, to guide India to 199 for two after being put in to bat at the start of the three-match series in Lucknow.
Shreyas Iyer smashed 57 off 28 deliveries to add to the Indian total, which the bowlers comfortably defended after they kept down Sri Lanka to 137-6 and lead the series 1-0.
The 23-year-old rising star Kishan, who had failed to get past 35 since his 56 on debut last year, was named man of the match in India’s 10th successive T20 win since their loss to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup last year.
“After playing so much cricket, you get used to this situation, that OK tough times will come but it’s very important to be neutral at that point of time,” Kishan told reporters.
“You need to talk to your seniors. So it’s very helpful when I sit with Rohit bhai [brother] when he comes to my room for conversation. I know that he believes in me, the coach [Rahul Dravid] believes in me and I just go there to perform.”
Rohit surpasses Kohli, Guptill
Rohit, who surpassed former captain Virat Kohli (3,296) and New Zealand’s Martin Guptill (3,299) to become the world’s leading run-getter in T20 internationals, praised Kishan’s knock.
“I’ve known Ishan for a long time now. I know the mindset he has. I know the ability he has as well,” the skipper said of Kishan, who plays for Rohit-led IPL team Mumbai Indians.
“It was just about getting the kind of game that he had today. It was so pleasing to watch from the other end.”
Rohit has amassed 3,307 runs including four centuries in 123 matches.
Kishan, a wicketkeeper-batsman who was recently bought back for $2 million by Mumbai in the auction, came out attacking as he hit Chamika Karunaratne for three successive boundaries and went on to record his second T20 half-century in 30 balls.
Fast bowler Lahiru Kumara denied Rohit 50 with a delivery that sneaked under the bat and rattled the off stump.
Kishan, who survived a dropped catch on 43, kept up the attack and smashed Kumara for a six and two fours.
Shreyas Iyer took charge in his final assault as he hit five fours and two sixes in an unbroken 44-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja.
Sri Lanka were never in the chase after India’s pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed the openers, including Pathum Nissanka for nought with the first ball of the innings.
Returning left-arm spinner Jadeja got senior batsman Dinesh Chandimal stumped for 10 as wickets kept falling for the tourists.
Chahal is India’s top wicket-taker
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal sent back Shanaka for three to become India’s top wicket-taker in T20Is as he went past fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s 66 scalps.
Charith Asalanka scored his third T20 fifty and finished with an unbeaten 53 off 47 balls in an unbeaten partnership of 40 with Dushmantha Chameera, who made 24.
Shanaka admitted his team’s failure on all fronts and said, “We were really poor in all three departments. They batted beautifully, read the game and conditions really well.”
The teams now move to Dharamsala for the second and third match.