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Updated February 8th, 2024 at 15:19 IST

ANGRY Ishan Kishan left the India vs South Africa midway due to selection of Jitesh Sharma: Report

Ishan Kishan reportedly left the India vs South Africa series in frustration over the selection of Jitesh Sharma, causing an abrupt departure.

Aryan Suraj Chadha
Ishan Kishan wasn't happy with Jitesh Sharma's selection?
Ishan Kishan wasn't happy with Jitesh Sharma's selection? | Image:AP/BCCI
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Ishan Kishan, Team India's promising young wicketkeeper-batsman, is now on leave from cricket, citing mental fatigue. Kishan has been absent from the squad since the T20I series against Australia in November 2023, and he withdrew midway through the South Africa trip, claiming his inability to play Tests against the Proteas. Kishan then missed the T20I series against Afghanistan as well as the home Tests against England. In a recent update, Team India's head coach, Rahul Dravid, hinted at Kishan's possible comeback to the squad after playing some domestic cricket. However, Dravid's opinion looked to change following the completion of the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam earlier this week.

What's the latest on Ishan Kishan?

Ishan Kishan has left Indian cricket fans wondering where he is and what his future holds after missing the present five-Test series against England and opting out of the Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand. The lack of clarity regarding Kishan's immediate international cricket future has sparked widespread curiosity and conjecture among fans.

Following India's victory over England in Visakhapatnam, focus shifted to Kishan's noteworthy absence. Kishan decided to take a break from cricket and did not play in the two-Test series against South Africa. In response to questions, India's head coach, Rahul Dravid, shed light on the matter, emphasising the management's respect for Kishan's decision and the absence of any further pressure on the player.

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According to reports, Kishan felt unsatisfied when India chose Jitesh Sharma over him in the playing XI during the T20I series against South Africa, forcing him to sit out again. Notably, Kishan played just two of the 11 ODI World Cup matches, scoring 58, 52, and 0 in the T20I series against Australia. Despite experiencing mental as well as physical tiredness following the World Cup's hard schedule and strain, Kishan expected to start against South Africa, only to be benched once more. According to RevSportz, Rahul Dravid said: 

“There’s a way back for anyone and everyone,” said Dravid with reference to Kishan. “It’s not that we rule out anybody from anything. I just don’t want to go on labouring the Ishan Kishan point. I’ve tried to explain it as best as I can. The point was that, you know, he requested a break. We were happy to give him the break and whenever he was ready… I didn’t say he has to play domestic cricket. I said, whenever he’s ready, he needs to play some cricket and come back, and the choice is his.

“We’re not forcing him to do anything, and we are in touch with him. It’s not that we’re not in touch. We know what it is, but he hasn’t yet started playing, right?”

Is Ishan Kishan playing the Ranji Trophy for Jharkhand?

Rahul Dravid's obvious order for Ishan Kishan to participate in cricket and then return to the fold has highlighted the ongoing Ranji Trophy as the major link for Kishan's eventual comeback. Even though the state side is competing in the Ranji Trophy, Kishan and the Jharkhand State Cricket Association have not communicated.

Jharkhand, which has only won once in five matches, is preparing for their last Ranji Trophy group stage match against Haryana, which begins on February 9 in Jamshedpur. Unfortunately, Kishan will once again be absent from the team. A Jharkhand Cricket Association official provided an update to RevSportz regarding Ishan Kishan: 

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“We don’t know what his current status is,”

“We were expecting him to play Ranji Trophy matches for Jharkhand, but never received a call or any communication from him. I read Rahul Dravid’s statement that the senior team management has asked him to play some sort of cricket before playing for India again. Only Ranji Trophy is going on, so the message is clear. If you have to ask me, Ishan should have played a couple of Ranji matches.”

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Published February 8th, 2024 at 14:32 IST

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