In a surprising turn of events, Indian cricket fans were left puzzled as gloveman Ishan Kishan and middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer found themselves excluded from India’s 16-man squad for the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan. Speculations and social media buzz surrounded their absence until a recent report in the Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika shed light on the reasons behind their omission – disciplinary grounds.
Ishan Kishan’s Controversial Actions:
The report highlighted Ishan Kishan’s controversial choices that led to his exclusion. Before the Afghanistan T20Is, Kishan had opted out of two Tests against South Africa citing personal reasons. However, the Bengali newspaper revealed that selectors were displeased with his subsequent actions, notably partying with former India captain MS Dhoni in Dubai. This occurred after he had withdrawn from the Test series, raising eyebrows among the selectors. Furthermore, Ishan’s appearance in a popular TV quiz show added to the selectors’ discontent, with potential consequences looming over his inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad.
Shreyas Iyer’s Torrid South Africa Test Series:
Shreyas Iyer’s exclusion from the Afghanistan T20Is stemmed from his lackluster performance in the South Africa Test series, where he managed only 41 runs in four innings. The selectors, unimpressed with his shot selection, had initially suggested that he play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy to regain form. However, Shreyas opted for a break, which did not sit well with the selectors, leading to his exclusion from the Afghanistan series.
Shreyas’ Change of Heart:
Despite being dropped from the Afghanistan T20Is, Shreyas Iyer later made himself available and was added to the Mumbai squad for the Ranji game against Andhra Pradesh, starting January 12. This decision might indicate his willingness to rectify the situation and prove his mettle in domestic cricket.
Selectors’ Strict Stance on Commitment:
The Anandabazar Patrika report suggested that the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee has taken a stern stance on players who do not prioritize Test and first-class cricket. This stance became evident through the exclusion of both Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer, emphasizing the importance of commitment and performance in traditional formats.
Rising Stars: Rinku Singh and Shubman Gill:
In contrast to the disappointment surrounding Ishan and Shreyas, the selectors expressed satisfaction with the hard work and commitment shown by Rinku Singh and Shubman Gill. The report hinted at the possibility of Rinku Singh getting a chance to feature in the traditional format, showcasing the selectors’ appreciation for players dedicated to their craft.
The exclusion of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the Afghanistan T20Is has brought to light the selectors’ emphasis on discipline, commitment, and performance in all formats of the game. As the cricketing world awaits further developments, it remains to be seen how these disciplinary measures will impact the players’ future in the national squad.