Head coach Rahul Dravid refuted any disciplinary concerns as the basis for Ishan Kishan’s exclusion from the Indian T20 squad set to compete against Afghanistan. Dravid emphasized that Kishan will make a return to the national team once he becomes eligible for selection. The left-hander’s last appearance for India was in the third T20I against Australia in Guwahati on November 28, 2023.

“Absolutely not. Ishan Kishan was not available for selection. Ishan had requested a break in South Africa which we agreed to, and supported that,” said Dravid in his pre-match press meet ahead of the first T20I against Afghanistan.

However, Kishan might just have felt a bit sidelined after playing just two ODIs and three T20Is between October last year and this January, while India played a total of 14 ODIs and eight T20Is in this period.

In ODIs, KL Rahul was preferred over him for the wicketkeeper-batsman’s slot, while in T20Is the management opted to give Jitesh Sharma a go from the fourth T20I at home against the Aussies. However, Dravid did not rule Kishan out of the Indian scheme of things. (Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma To Open For Team India In T20 World Cup 2024? Coach Rahul Dravid Clears Air)

Head coach also confirmed that Ishan Kishan had asked for a break during this series, and that Shreyas Iyer was dropped not rested. #ishankishan  #sheyasiyer#BCCI #ICC #INDvsAFG  #IndianCricketeam  pic.twitter.com/q2nqQI1OmM
 cricnews (@cric_xprt001) January 10, 2024

“He has made himself unavailable for selection. I am sure when he is available (for selection), he will play domestic cricket (and come back). So that was the case,” said Dravid.

But as things stand now, the Jharkhand player will have to play out of his skin to return to the India tent. India does not have any more T20Is in their calendar ahead of the World Cup in June, and Kishan’s only chance to impress the bigwigs is the upcoming IPL 2024.

But herein too Kishan will have to contend with competition from Rahul as he has expressed his willingness to bat in the middle-order as wicketkeeper batter for Lucknow Supergiants. (Big Blow For Afghanistan Ahead Of T20I Series Against India, Rashid Khan Ruled Out)

Similarly, Shreyas Iyer’s non-selection for the T20I series against the Afghans too had given fodder to the player indiscipline talks, but Dravid denied the rumors.

“Shreyas Iyer’s case has absolutely nothing to do with any disciplinary issue. It is just that he missed out. There are a lot of batsmen in the team. He did not play in the T20s in the SA as well,” said the former Indian captain. Dravid said it was tough to accommodate all the players into the squad or the first eleven.

“It is unfortunate because he is a fine player but there are a lot of batsmen and it is not easy to fit everyone into the squad or play 11. No discipline issues were discussed, at least during my discussion with the selectors,” said Dravid.

However, Shreyas will play for Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy match against Andhra from Friday, and PTI understands that the elegant right-hander will be a part of India’s squad for the five-match Test series at home against England beginning later this month.

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