In an electrifying clash between India and Pakistan during the Asia Cup 2023 opener, star wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan set the stage ablaze. On September 2, Ishan, at the age of 25, found himself batting at No. 5 in ODIs for the very first time in his career. His incredible performance saw him scoring a dynamic 82 runs from 81 balls, effectively steering India away from danger and helping them post a competitive total against their arch-rivals at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele.
During his memorable innings, Ishan Kishan smashed nine boundaries and sent two deliveries soaring for sixes. He partnered with Hardik Pandya, who emerged as the top scorer for the Rohit Sharma-led Indian side, contributing an impressive 87 runs from 90 balls. India concluded their innings at 266 runs in 48.5 overs against Babar Azam & Co. in the second Group A match. However, the game ended without a result due to consistent rain, leaving fans yearning for more action.
The match against Pakistan had everyone’s attention, particularly regarding Ishan Kishan’s batting position. The Patna-born cricketer, renowned for his exploits as an opening batsman, found himself at No. 5 due to the presence of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill at the top. Despite his unfamiliar batting position, Ishan showcased his prowess, crafting a remarkable fifty that proved pivotal in rescuing India from a precarious situation.
Ishan Kishan’s exceptional performance not only thrilled fans but also propelled him to a significant milestone. With his 82-run knock against Pakistan, he surpassed batting maestro Virat Kohli to claim the No. 2 spot in the list of Indian batsmen with the highest runs after 17 innings in ODIs. Ishan now boasts 776 runs to his name, averaging an impressive 48.5.
In this elite category for India, Ishan Kishan is second only to Shubman Gill, who also featured in the game against Pakistan and amassed 778 runs in his first 17 ODI innings.
Remarkably, the half-century against Pakistan in Pallekele marked Ishan’s fourth consecutive one in ODI cricket. Additionally, his 82-run innings broke the longstanding record of legendary MS Dhoni, making him the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman with the highest score against Pakistan in Asia Cup history. Dhoni’s previous record stood at 76 runs against Pakistan during the 2008 edition of the continental tournament, which took place in Pakistan.