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We're really upset people said we're a B-side & not capable of beating full-strength SA: Ishan Kishan

Ranchi, Oct. 9: Playing in front of his home crowd, flamboyant Indian batter, Ishan Kishan narrowly missed out on his maiden ODI century. The 24-year-old wicketkeeper-batter put up a match-winning partnership with centurion Shreyas Iyer, as India levelled the ODI series with a seven-wicket win over South Africa in Ranchi on Sunday.

Kishan, who missed out on his ton by just seven runs, opened up about his blistering knock at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi. The flamboyant batter said that there is no need to rotate strike when one can 'hit sixes effortlessly' like he does.

India vs South Africa 2nd ODI, Highlights: Post-match Presentation, Awards, Player-of-the-Match, ScorecardIndia vs South Africa 2nd ODI, Highlights: Post-match Presentation, Awards, Player-of-the-Match, Scorecard

"Some players have the strength to rotate the strike, my strength is to hit sixes. I hit sixes effortlessly and not many can do that. If I do the job by hitting sixes, there's no need to think about rotating the strike much," Kishan, who hammered an 84-ball 93, said at the post-match press conference.

"If your strength is hitting sixes then go for it, what's the need of rotating the strike just for the sake of it. But yes there will be time when rotating the strike would be key with wickets falling at the other end," Kishan added.

"Obviously rotation is very important. Seven runs, I could have taken in singles and gone for the century but I never go into a zone where I've to play for myself. If I think of my individual score, when representing my country, then I'm letting down the fans."

'Feels bad when you're not part of the side for a big tournament'

Ishan also missed a hundred in IPL 2020 when the Mumbai Indians opener got out for 99 in their chase of 202 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. "We needed five off two balls and I got out for 99 in the IPL. If I thought about rotating the strike, then it would have been difficult to win.

"Obviously it's disappointing to miss a hundred but I think 93 was a big contribution to the team. It was very important to give the momentum to the team and keep the team in the zone so that there's less pressure on the next batters," he said.

Kishan, who played the last edition's T20 World Cup in UAE, missed out on a berth for this edition's World Cup after an ordinary season in this year's IPL. Talking about missing out on making it to the World Cup squad, Kishan said, "Obviously it feels bad when you are not part of the side for a big tournament like the World Cup."

India vs South Africa, 2nd ODI: Shreyas Iyer hammers second ODI ton; Ishan Kishan narrowly misses outIndia vs South Africa, 2nd ODI: Shreyas Iyer hammers second ODI ton; Ishan Kishan narrowly misses out

Kishan admitted he had some "shortcomings" for which he had to miss the World Cup in Australia. "But I think I"ve some shortcomings that selectors would have noticed, so it's about improving myself."

India bounced back to level the series 1-1 after their reversal in Lucknow where they lost the first ODI by nine runs. With Rohit Sharma and Co already in Australia for the T20 World Cup, Indian fringe players are in action against the Proteas in the three-match ODI series.

"I heard people talking that we are the B-side, we are not so much capable of beating South Africa full strength side. I heard these comments and we're really upset about it, so we wanted to play our A-game today.

"We lost the first game and we wanted to win this badly so that we can give a fight in the next one," he said.

Opening up about his 161-run third-wicket partnership with Iyer, he said, "They had two left-arm spinners so as a left-hander it was for me to take chances and put the attack on their bowlers.

"I've played so many matches here and know the wicket very well. I knew it would slow down in the second innings, but after playing Keshav Maharaj I knew this wicket did not have much on offer. We just wanted to take our chances before the ball got old," signed off Kishan.

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Story first published: Sunday, October 9, 2022, 23:32 [IST]
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