Ishan Kishan hits double century in 126 balls, breaks Chris Gayle’s record

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 ever in the format.

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.

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. But Kishan made light of a slow pitch from the outset to keep attacking the Bangladesh bowlers throughout, after the hosts decided to field.

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. The Bangladesh seamers tried 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 Al Hasan’s dexterity to make it real – against Kishan was in the 20th over. Kishan, on 84, mistimed Mehidy Hasan Miraz 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.

India lost wickets regularly after Kishan’s exit, but they still posted 409 for 8, their fourth-highest ODI total.

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