Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene reveals why they spent Rs 6.2 cr for 19-year-old Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan's base price in IPL 2018 auction was just Rs 20 lakh

Mumbai Indians (MI) did not go overboard in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 mega auction barring a few players. One of those players is the 19-year-old Ishan Kishan whose services were bought for a whopping Rs 6.2 crore. The former Under-19 captain was the second-most expensive buy for MI in the IPL 11 auctions after Krunal Pandya on whom they used the Right to Match (RTM) card for Rs 8.8 crore.

MI coach and former Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene did not bid aggressively for Jos Buttler, Parthiv Patel or any other wicketkeeper-batsman in the auction. It can be ascertained that Jayawardene was eyeing Kishan for IPL 11 beforehand and going all guns blazing for him was a strategic move.

Jayawardene emphasised on the buzz that was around Indian wicketkeeper-batsman in the IPL 2018 auction. He said,

I think he’s definitely a talent. The other teams were interested in him upto Rs 6.2 crore says that he’s a talent for the future and they probably rate him at the price. Some of the other Indian wicketkeeper-batsmen went at a higher price because it’s a difficult to find an Indian wicketkeeper batsman.

According to MI, they were looking to invest in him as only other wicketkeeper in the team is Aditya Tare. He explained,

Especially in an auction like this and a franchise system, they are actually very good to have in your team because they are genuine all-rounders, so I think that’s where we felt like investing cricketer means that he is going to be a part of this team for future and we can build on that.

Jayawardene compared Kishan with other Indian youngsters who were picked by MI right from the beginning and now worth more than a million in IPL. He concluded,

It’s the same process that Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah have come through those trial camps and processes worked for MI and we’ll continue to do that and try to improve on it. I think backing young talent is always important.

Kishan played for Gujarat Lions in the previous two seasons. He did not do much in IPL 2016 but in the next season he came through and impressed everyone with his talent as a top order batsman.

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Here’s a look at this IPL career –

16 matches, 319 runs, 1 half century, Average – 21.26, Strike rate – 129.14

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The southpaw is expected to be a regular in MI side in the upcoming season as they have not picked any other wicketkeeper-batsman who has been in form of late.