Replacing the injured Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan blasted the fastest ODI double century in the dead rubber against Bangladesh in Chattogram, off just 126 balls, shattering the previous record held by Chris Gayle, who’d taken 138 balls against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup.
The 24-year old Kishan also became the fourth ODI double-centurion Indian – after Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar – and the seventh batsman overall to achieve the feat, along with Gayle, Martin Guptill and Fakhar Zaman. Kishan added 290 for the second wicket with Virat Kohli, who made his 44th ODI hundred, and his first in the format since August 2019.
The Kishan-Kohli stand was India’s third-highest partnership in ODIs, and the seventh-highest in the format. The duo propelled India to 409 for 8, their fourth-highest ODI total. Bangladesh, who’d already taken the series, lasted only 34 overs in response and managed just 182, giving India their third-biggest ODI win in terms of runs, and their biggest against a Test-playing nation.
Kishan accelerated at an astonishing pace right after reaching an already brisk maiden international century off 85 deliveries. He took just 18 more balls to get to his 150, and reached the 200 mark in another 23. The wicketkeeper-batsman scored a 150 off boundaries alone, with 24 fours and 10 sixes all around the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. It took an excellent running catch to dislodge Kishan on 210 off 131, by Bangladesh skipper Litton Das, who averted a collision with the advancing long-on fielder on the edge of the straight boundary, while keeping his eyes on the ball as he dashed across from long-off.
Ishan Kishan’s astounding batting performance got everyone talking! 👌 👌
Some high praises in there for the record setter 👏 👏
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 10, 2022
The left-hander was the fourth opening partner India had used in the last four ODIs for Shikhar Dhawan, who failed for the fifth game running, with scores of 3, 8, 7, 28 and 3. But Kishan made light of a slow pitch from the outset to keep attacking the Bangladesh bowlers throughout, after the hosts inserted India. It was to be a knock in perpetual Powerplay mode, with Kishan intent all afternoon on going after the slightest opportunity to hit a boundary, and incredibly, pulling it off for nearly three hours.
“My intent was very clear – if the ball is there, I’ll go for it. Still feel when I got out – 15 overs were left. Could’ve scored 300 also,” Kishan said later.
Unlike in Dhaka, there was green grass on the Chattogram surface, which meant that despite the general sluggishness of wickets in these parts, the slower ones did not grip, nor did the spinners find purchase. That allowed the batsmen to force the ball away, even if they weren’t able to time it.
The former is Kishan’s style anyway. The areas he targets are also very specific, and he stuck to his strengths for almost 36 overs. All his ten sixes were swung in the arc from wide long-on to long leg. His fours had a greater range; he would either power the ball straight down the ground or through extra cover, or cut and sweep hard.
He successfully combated the slowness of the pitch by either charging down the track or backing away and repeatedly launching the ball over the infield. Many times, he would be through with the shot early even deep into his knock, but would still get enough bat on the ball, and importantly, hit the gaps. Shakib Al Hasan’s left-arm spin was a natural target for the left-hander, but he was also severe on the off-spin of Mehidy Hasan Miraz, slog-sweeping and stepping out to launch him over extra cover. Bangladesh tried the part-time off-spin of Afif Hossain and Mahmudullah, and promptly leaked 25 from their two overs.
The Bangladesh seamers went for the short ball often, but they barely managed to get it to climb above waist height, and Kishan comfortably pulled them into the stands. On the rare instance Mustafizur Rahman gained some lift on the slower bouncer, Kishan calmly ramped him over the wicketkeeper for four.
The only real chance – and it took Shakib’s dexterity to make it real – against Kishan was in the 20th over. Kishan, on 84, mistimed Mehidy to cow corner and Shakib grasped the ball in his right hand as he sprawled across the turf, but it popped onto the outfield before he flicked it back in with the left hand.
Kohli’s chance was simple – straight to short midwicket off Mehidy, but Das dropped the sitter. The former India captain was on 1 then, and took quite some time to get used to the lack of pace. He popped several deliveries in the air just past fielders, but found his touch eventually to play some lovely shots. There were the typical commanding lofted drives over extra cover, and he reached his century with a flicked six over short fine leg, reminiscent of the famous one he hit off Pakistan’s Haris Rauf in the recent T20 World Cup.
Importantly, as Kishan said later, Kohli also guided the youngster through his individual milestones. “He was calming me down when I was in my 90s. I wanted to bring it up with a six, but he said, ‘get it in singles as it’s your first,’” Kishan said. Kishan had brought up the first hundred with a swept four, but he reached the second with a single.