India wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan has extended his break and has not turned up for the Ranji Trophy. This absence from professional cricket since December of the 25-year-old has now come under a lot of scrutiny.
Ishan Kishan, who last played any level of cricket in November in the T20I series against Australia at home, took a break citing “personal reasons” from the Test series in South Africa after being named in the squad. He was replaced by KS Bharat.
He was then not picked for the T20I series against Afghanistan, with Jitesh Sharma and Sanju Samson being named the wicketkeepers. Kishan was also absent from the Test squad for the first two Tests against England. India named KL Rahul, KS Bharat, and Dhruv Jurel as the stumpers in the Test squad.
On the eve of the first T20I against Afghanistan, head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed that Ishan Kishan had asked for an extended break, opting out from the T20I series. However, Dravid also made it clear that the left-hander will have to play domestic cricket to make his case for selection in the Test team.
Dravid had said, “Ishan Kishan was not available for selection. Ishan requested for a break [while] in South Africa – which we which we agreed to, which we supported, [and] which we recognised – and he has not yet made himself available for selection. I’m sure when he is ready, he will play domestic cricket and make himself available for selection.”
But the youngster has remained absent from Jharkhand’s first three matches in the Ranji Trophy.
Is this break hurting the immediate future of Ishan Kishan?
This has led to speculations about whether Ishan Kishan would fall in the pecking order, which seems likely at least in the T20I setup with the return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at the top of the order. The IPl 2024 will be crucial for Kishan, Samson, Jurel, and Jitesh as it will immediately be followed by the T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and USA.