Team India’s young wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan has been away from action since November last year; he left India’s tour of South Africa mid-way, reportedly citing mental fatigue. Since then, Ishan hasn’t returned to competitive action, although a Cricbuzz report suggested he has begun training alongside Hardik and Krunal Pandya in Baroda.
There has been significant speculation surrounding Ishan’s absence from international cricket. Initially, Indian head coach Rahul Dravid stated that the young player requested a break, and the team respected his decision. Dravid mentioned that Ishan could make a comeback after participating in some first-class matches. However, Dravid deviated from his statement earlier this week, indicating that he did not necessarily mean ‘domestic’ cricket.
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As confusion reigns over Ishan’s absence, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan questioned the youngster’s absence from cricketing action. Without naming Ishan, Pathan stated that it is “perplexing” for him to understand why a player is unavailable for domestic matches when he has returned to training.
“Finding it perplexing how someone can be fit enough to practice but not play domestic cricket. How does this even make sense?” Pathan wrote on his official X profile.
Given KS Bharat’s subpar performance with the bat in the current series against England, India could’ve benefitted from Ishan Kishan’s inclusion had the youngster returned to action. Rishabh Pant, still recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident in December 2022, has yet to regain his fitness fully.
Alongside KS Bharat, Dhruv Jurel is part of the squad for the three remaining Tests against the English team.
“We are in touch with him; it is not that we have not been in touch. He has not yet started playing right, so at the moment, it is not something we can consider. Because you know, maybe he is not ready. He decides when he wants to be ready. We have got options with Rishabh injured and stuff. I am sure the selectors will weigh all options,” Dravid said about Ishan Kishan following India’s win in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
Ishan made his Test debut last year during India’s tour of West Indies, where he played both matches of the series.