Kishan is the front-runner to take over as keeper in the England Tests as BCCI looks to relieve Rahul, despite disagreements with his absence from the Afghanistan Twenty20 Internationals.
Ishan Kishan’s Test Debut Prospects Brighten as KL Rahul Relieved of Keeping Duties
Ishan Kishan does have some good news, but it comes with a catch. Assuming Kishan can demonstrate his health in a Ranji Trophy match, the Indian team management has apparently opted to remove KL Rahul of his keeping responsibilities in Test matches. This puts Kishan as the clear favorite to open the next five-match series against England on January 25. Despite being eligible for selection, Kishan may have been left out of the Afghanistan T20Is, according to a number of sources. That may have happened because of distrust between him and the team manager.
However, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid was categorical that Kishan was not subject to any disciplinary discipline. The left-hander will be taken into consideration as soon as he becomes available, but he must demonstrate his fitness in a first-class match. He was not selected for the Afghanistan T20Is.
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There isn’t a single disciplinary concern. There was not a choice for Ishan Kishan. We decided to take a vacation in South Africa after Ishan made this request. We were in favor of it. He has not yet offered himself for use. On the eve of the inaugural Twenty20 international series, Dravid told media in Mohali, “When he is available, he will play domestic cricket and make himself available for selection.”
According to earlier reports, Kishan’s use of the leaves he was given for his “mental fatigue” to party in Dubai left the Indian team management less than pleased. Kishan has been requesting a leave of absence from his national team since the ODI World Cup in 2018. Over the last 13 months, the gifted keeper-batter has regularly participated in all three formats for the Indian team. Even though he didn’t have many chances in the XI, he always made the most of them.
Ishan Kishan’s Fitness Dilemma: Team India’s Stringent Policy and Media Speculations
Notably, since Dravid took charge, this has been Team India’s stance. Before making a return, a player who has missed games because of injury or other circumstances must demonstrate his fitness in domestic competitions. But last year, the rules weren’t adhered very rigorously.
For just this reason, there was a great deal of media uproar when Kishan was not selected. Dravid said that Kishan was not dropped and was not available, but if that’s the case, how come he was seen in Vadodara training with his skipper Hardik Pandya of the Mumbai Indians? Has Kishan grown to such a prominence in Indian cricket that he is now able to choose which matches to play?
Whatever the cause, Kishan now has the upper hand. If the 25-year-old wants to be the starting keeper for the England series, he has been told emphatically that he must play first-class cricket. Reports varying on his availability for the same have been found. While The Indian Express reported that Kishan is unlikely to play in the Ranji Trophy and, should he not be selected for the England series, will immediately play for the Mumbai Indians in the Twenty24 Indian Premier League, a Cricbuzz report suggested that Kishan might make himself available for Jharkhand’s next match against Services in Delhi starting on January 19.
Why isn’t KL Rahul the goalie?
Rahul performed well in his new position as a keeper and middle-order batsman upon his comeback to Test cricket. But against England, he may not get the same role. The Indian team management, according to Cricbuzz, doesn’t want to put Rahul through the longest format of keeping, particularly on Indian grounds where it’s predicted that the ball would stay low and spin. To manage Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravichandran Ashwin, they seek a keeper with specialized training. However, Rahul’s position in the middle order is almost assured. He is probably going to be selected over Shreyas Iyer at number five.
As Wriddhiman Saha has been ordered to move on and Rishabh Pant is still recovering from injuries he got in a car incident in December 2022, the selectors are left with no choice but to resort to Kishan, a regular keeper with just Test match experience. In fifty matches in the first class, he has kept for Jharkhand.
KS Bharat is where?
KS Bharat is the other keeper involved in the fight. The cricketer from Andhra Pradesh was ranked higher than Kishan and Rahul, but his poor performance in the home series against Australia in the previous year and the WTC final damaged his reputation. But before the Test series, he’s probably going to play in the two unofficial tests against the England Lions. Kishan will face pressure if he does well there.