IPL 2022 auction’s most expensive buy, Ishan Kishan, proved that he’s worth every rupee of the ₹15.25 crore that the Mumbai Indians management invested in acquiring him. Kishan continued from where he left in 2021 IPL for the five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians by scoring a stroke-filled unbeaten 81 off only 48 balls that took Mumbai Indians to a challenging 177 for five against Delhi Capitals in their opening match of the 15th edition at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The left-handed opener hit 11 power-packed fours and two mighty sixes – one off a cut over third man off medium-pacer Shardul Thakur in the third over and another over wide long-on off left-arm spinner Axar Patel that brought his 10th IPL half-century.
Kishan’s previous two IPL innings for MI were 50 not out against Rajasthan Royals and 84 in against Sunrisers Hyderabad in UAE last October. The 23-year-old from Jharkhand, a regular white-ball format player in recent times for India, was in no hurry to push the scoring rate initially on Sunday.
He let his partners, starting with captain Rohit Sharma and continuing with 19-year-old talented left-hander from Andhra, Tilak Verma, to take on the attack before eventually settling for an assault in the back end of the MI innings. Kishan was not to be kept quiet, though, keeping the scoreboard ticking when Rohit took charge initially in their 67-run opening wicket partnership coming off 8.2 overs.
The moment Kishan drove left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed along the ground for four in the innings’ third over, there were indications that he was up to something special on the day. The Brabourne Stadium pitch also played true with the ball coming nicely on to the bat. Kishan took over the responsibility of taking MI to a formidable total in the latter half of the innings and was helped along by Singapore’s Tim David, who was happy to take a single and give Kishan the majority of the strike in their 36-run stand for the fifth wicket in 3.1 overs.
Kishan was on 36 off 26 balls when MI reached their 100 in 12.5 overs and accelerated with some breath-taking shots to add 45 runs to his individual score off another 22 deliveries including two successive fours on the on-side off Thakur off the last two deliveries of the innings.