India wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan has revealed that captain Rohit Sharma has told him to focus on rotating the strike during practice sessions. In the first T20I against Sri Lanka at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Thursday, Kishan made an explosive 89 off 56 balls to set the base for India's convincing 62-run win.
In the knock where Kishan toyed with Sri Lanka's bowling attack, he hit 10 fours and three sixes while taking 17 singles and seven twos. It was welcome change from Kishan, who struggled to get going against the West Indies, making just 71 runs in three innings.
In the virtual press conference, Kishan disclosed how Sharma told him to work on his strike-rotation ability.
"Rohit kept telling me that he knows I can hit the ball long whenever I want. But he told me that what's important in the upcoming matches, where I have been stuck previously, is to work on my single-rotation. He has helped me in this aspect and told me to try out rotating the strike at the nets," said Kishan.
"He told me that I can hit the ball whenever I want but by rotating strike, I can put the bowlers under pressure also. So, these are the things I have spoken to Rohit bhai. When we get such support from people in the team, our work is to do our homework, be it be fitness, sleeping pattern or disciplined life, we have to continue with that," added Kishan.
Kishan explained how playing in big grounds at home is helping him and India in their preparation for the Men's T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year. "In this ground, it's very much like when the team is preparing to go for the World Cup and playing in big grounds. This was a perfect ground for us for practice. Like, we need to go in the gaps, make the twos and make the most out of the ground.
"When you play in a big ground, you get a lot of gaps. Instead of always hitting the ball hard, you need to time the ball in the gap and that way, you learn like where you lack. Obviously, I got runs but still I know that in these grounds, I need to hold my shape when I am batting like I am tired, I need to hold my shape and go for it.
"I just can't slog in as the fielder is going to cover it anyway. So, these are the few learnings for the team and will do even better when we play again in some big grounds."
Kishan further stressed on how important it is to make the chances count irrespective of batting positions in the side when regular players are absent.
"When you come to a level like this, playing for the Indian team, you have to be ready for every opportunity you get because there are so many players performing well and you cannot ask for one position.
"We have to be ready, prepare in the nets and watch our seniors who are doing well at that position, so that's the way we learn. It's not just that you go there and get to open. You have to wait for your time. But when you get it, you have to capitalise on it."