In a recent press conference, India's head coach Rahul Dravid shed light on the reasons behind the absence of prominent players Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, and Ravindra Jadeja from India T20I squad for the upcoming series against Afghanistan.
Contrary to speculations and rumours, Dravid clarified that their exclusion was not due to disciplinary issues but rather a result of various factors.
Ishan Kishan still out due to mental fatigue
The primary reason cited by Dravid for Ishan Kishan's absence is mental fatigue.
Kishan had requested a break during the South Africa tour, which the team management decided to support. Dravid confirmed that Kishan had not made himself available for selection since then and would return to domestic cricket when he feels ready.
This decision reflects the growing awareness of mental health issues in cricket, with the Indian team prioritizing player well-being.
Dravid stated, “Ishan Kishan was not available for selection. Ishan requested for a break, which we agreed in South Africa. We supported it. He has not yet made himself available”
Dravid went on to clarify that when Kishan is available, he will play domestic cricket before he makes himself available again.
Shreyas Iyer dropped
Shreyas Iyer's non-inclusion in the T20I squad was not the result of any disciplinary issues but rather due to the fierce competition within the team.
Dravid highlighted that there were numerous batters vying for limited spots, and Iyer, who also did not feature in the T20Is in South Africa, simply missed out on selection.
The head coach assured that there had been no discussions with selectors about any disciplinary issues concerning Iyer.
The challenge for multi-format players like Ravindra Jadeja
Rahul Dravid also shed light on the challenges faced by the team management in balancing players' workloads, especially considering the busy cricket calendar.
He mentioned that with numerous ICC events taking place in recent years, they had to prioritize certain formats and tournaments. This prioritization sometimes meant that players had to be rested or rotated to ensure their physical and mental well-being.
Dravid emphasized that “there's not been a lot of time in between these ICC events”. With the England Tests too coming up this month, the head coach mentioned that the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah were rested from the home T20Is against Afghanistan.
What is the truth on Ishaan Kishan. Rahul Dravid when asked in the press conference said the stories doing the rounds on indiscipline is baseless. Let’s not be too harsh on someone as young. To castigate him is perhaps way too much than what is needed. He is a talent and India…— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) January 10, 2024
India take on Afghanistan in the first T20I in Mohali on Thursday. Virat Kohli will miss the T20I due to personal reasons, while Rohit Sharma, who also returned to the squad for the first time since 2022, will lead the side.
Dravid also clarified that Yashasvi Jaiswal will open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma. With Kishan absent, the competition is between Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma to don the gloves with Jitesh the frontrunner based on recent preferences.