The five-match test series between India and England is currently hanging in balance with a 1-1 score line which has set the stage for an exciting remaining three test matches starting from February 15th at Rajkot. The Indian Cricket Board has announced the squad for the remaining three tests and there have been some surprise inclusions and exclusions in the squad.
But the exclusion that has raised some eyebrows was that of wicketkeeper batter Ishan Kishan. Ever since the unavailability of Rishabh Pant, the Indian test team hasn’t got a perfect replacement. KS Bharath is one player who has got the most chances to seal the spot in Pant’s absence but his abysmal show with the bat has put him on the verge of getting dropped.
According to some reports, youngster Dhruv Jurel might get to play his first test at Rajkot. Ishan Kishan was looked at as Rishabh Pant’s just replacement as he is also left-handed and bats aggressively but Ishan Kishan Kishan is currently unavailable for selection in tests.
Curious Case of Ishan Kishan
Kishan took a break from international cricket in South Africa before the test series citing mental fatigue as the reason. The Indian Cricket Board accepted Ishan Kishan’s plea and gave him a break. But it’s been more than 2 months since then and the young southpaw still hasn’t made himself available for Test matches which has irked the Indian cricket fans.
Even the usually calm, also got a bit frustrated on repeated questions on Ishan Kishan’s non-selection to which he replied that he hasn’t been punished or dropped, it’s just he needs to have some game time under his belt before coming back into the international setup.
Indian Cricket Board’s concern
But amid all this Ishan Kishan has sparked another controversy by skipping the Ranji Trophy. He was seen training with the Pandya brothers and prepared himself for the IPL instead. This has fueled concerns about some players prioritizing the IPL over domestic cricket, which Indian Cricket is not happy about. Reports suggest the Indian Cricket Board is planning to mandate participation in the Ranji Trophy for all available players unless they are injured or are busy with international duties.
According to TOI, an Indian Cricket Board source said, “In the next few days, all the players will be communicated by the BCCI to play for their state team in the Ranji Trophy, as long as they are not on national duty, with only those who are unfit and recovering at the NCA being granted an exemption. The Board isn't too happy with certain players already in IPL mode from January.”