Yadav, Kishan: MI's unsung heroes in middle-order

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New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) Mumbai Indians’ success was majorly scripted by two uncapped Indian youngsters who found themselves manning the middle-order amid a sea of superstars — Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav.

Kishan — 516 runs at an average of 57.33; strike rate 145.76 — and Yadav — 480 runs at 40; SR 145.01 — scored well over one-third of the runs that MI had scored this season and were overall No.5 and No.7 respectively in the run-getters’ list.

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Among the top 10 run-getters, only AB de Villiers has a better strike rate than the two.

While Quinton de Kock, who finished at No.6 in the run-getters’ list, provided the start at the top of the batting order, Kishan and Yadav provided stability in the middle-order that in Rohit Sharma’s words was weak last year.

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“We discussed last year that our middle-order was not clicking and Ishan has come and done really well. He is understanding his game, and opening a lot of horizons on the ground to hit boundaries and sixes. That makes him a dangerous batsman. And Surya, I have said before, he has matured as a player. I see him going from strength to strength this season,” Rohit had told the media ahead of the final on Tuesday.

“Surya has taken his game to a different level. One good thing that struck me is the tempo he maintains — no matter who is batting and how many wickets have fallen. That is a sign of a quality player. When someone can bat with that tempo, keep rotating strike, keep hitting the boundaries, it makes the job easier for the non-striker, the team looks in comfortable position. The No. 3 slot is a crucial position. He has done well,” he had said.

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Kishan said that he was struggling with his fitness prior to the season.

“I was not looking in good shape at the start of this season, so I had a good chat with Hardik bhai and Krunal bhai, I wanted to work on my fitness, just keep working on my off-side game. Wanted to do what was good for the team with the bat and score big runs,” said Kishan after the final.

–IANS

kh/qma

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