Ishan Kishan, the young Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, is now missing from the Indian cricketing circuit. Since the Men in Blue hosted Australia for a five-match T20I series at home after the 2023 World Cup final in November, he has not played for the senior team.

During the month-long tour to South Africa, Ishan Kishan traveled with the Indian side to play three T20Is and 3 ODIs, and the two-match Test series. A full-strength squad was named for the Tests after the majority of the senior players missed the white ball series.

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India’s tour to South Africa was passable, but there were a lot of behind-the-scenes activities that we were unaware of. One of them involved Ishan Kishan, who had requested a leave from the Indian management to give himself a respite and to help his mental health, which had gotten worse after he was benched a lot in 2023.

It is a reality that even with his respectable performances, Ishan Kishan has always been below KL Rahul and now Jitesh Sharma in the hierarchy. Kishan is far more skilled behind the wickets than Rahul is, which is something India will need when they play England in a five-match Test series starting on January 25.

Ishan Kishan planning to skip Ranji Trophy games

As per some media reports, the BCCI and Indian team management were enraged with Ishan Kishan, questioning his discipline and commitment after he left the Indian team midway ahead of the Test series vs South Africa. Some reports also stated that the team management was not happy with him choosing to party in Dubai and appear on a TV show rather than spending time with the team in South Africa.

The fact that Ishan was left out of the Afghanistan series added fuel to the fire around this topic. Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma were picked as the wicketkeepers in the Indian T20 squad for Afghanistan series with the latter keeping the wickets in the 1st T20I.

Furthermore, there are reports that Ishan Kishan, who represents Jharkhand in the current Ranji Trophy, is not planning to participate in the domestic circuit. Indian Head Coach Rahul Dravid had clearly stated that there was no disciplinary action against Ishan Kishan and he had not made himself available for selection and that’s why the selectors went ahead with Jitesh and Sanju Samson.

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However, Dravid had categorically stated that Ishan would have to go through the rigors of domestic cricket before making it to the Indian squad. Now with reports emerging of him avoiding Ranji Trophy games,  the Indian team management will have to look at other options in the fold ahead of the Test series vs England.

The India Test Squad for England series is expected to be announced after the IND vs AFG T20I series and it will be interesting to see if Ishan Kishan finds a spot.