New Delhi: Ishan Kishan has raised expectations that India can turn around their flagging white-ball fortunes after the baby-faced assassin blasted the world's fastest ODI double century and said he could have reached 300.
India have not won an international tournament since 2013 and their 10-wicket loss to England at the Twenty20 World Cup last month prompted much soul-searching. Next year they will host the 50-over World Cup.
But on Saturday Kishan, 24, gave India something to cheer about, with the diminutive left-handed opener smashing a 131-ball 210 laced with 24 fours and 10 sixes against Bangladesh in Chittagong.
Kishan only played because skipper Rohit Sharma was injured but he grabbed the opportunity with both hands by producing a 290-run second-wicket stand with Virat Kohli to power India to 409-8.
It was the tattooed, earstud-sporting Kishan's first ODI century and the numbers and records stacked up in Kishan's knock, the quickest double ODI ton in 126 balls.
"The innings you played today deserves double the appreciation too," cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar wrote on Twitter.
Batting great VVS Laxman tweeted: "What a phenomenal display of ball-striking... To get a double hundred in any format is awesome, to do so inside 35 overs is just mind-boggling!
"What a talent! I am sure this is the start of something truly special."
An Indian Premier League sensation, Kishan, a wicketkeeper-batsman, was retained by Mumbai Indians for a whopping $2 million in the February auction this year.
But he did not set the IPL on fire and with patchy international form missed being part of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia where India crashed out in the semi-finals to eventual winners England.
'In the zone'
Standing at five feet six inches (1.68 metres), Kishan comes from Bihar but played for his neighbouring state of Jharkhand in domestic cricket. He captained India to the 2016 Under-19 World Cup.
His career now gets a new wind with his sensational knock ahead of next year's 50-over World Cup in India as the hosts hunt for a demolishing batting combination in the "bazball" era.
The term bazball is homage to the nickname of new England Test coach Brendon McCullum whose ultra-aggressive approach has filtered into the limited-overs side.
Indian batsmen including new white-ball sensation Suryakumar Yadav and Kishan seem to have the mindset to play a fearless game and bring India some international silverware at last.
"When I got out, 15 overs were left. That's 90 balls. If you play 45 balls, it's easy to get another hundred when you are that set," Kishan said after India's 227-run win.
"Bowlers are under pressure. I was in the zone to get 300, but unfortunately I didn't... But it was a special one to get my name up there with so many legend players."
Kishan, who has played 10 ODIs since making his debut last year, is only the fourth Indian batsman to score a 50-over double ton after Rohit - who has done so three times - Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.