‘We are not forcing him to…’: Rahul Dravid on Ishan Kishan’s absence | Cricket News

Feb 5, 2024

NEW DELHI: Addressing concerns about Ishan Kishan‘s extended absence from both international and domestic cricket, head coach Rahul Dravid on Monday emphasised that Kishan needs to determine when he will resume playing “some form of cricket” before being considered for national selection.
Despite being a regular member of the Indian team across formats not too long ago, Kishan has been on a break since requesting time off during the South Africa tour in December due to personal reasons.Dravid clarified the situation following the series-leveling win over England.
“There is a way back for anyone and everyone. I don’t want to go on labouring about the Ishan Kishan point. Have tried to explain this as best as I can, the point was he had requested a break, we were happy to give him the break,” said Dravid in the media interaction.
“Whenever he is ready, I didn’t say he has to play domestic cricket, I said whenever he is ready, he needs to play some cricket and come back. The choice is his. We are not forcing him to do anything,” Dravid didn’t seem to be amused with the queries and also made it team management’s stance clear on the issue.
Given KS Bharat‘s less-than-impressive performance with the bat in the current series against England, India might benefit from Ishan Kishan’s inclusion. Rishabh Pant, still in the process of recovering from injuries sustained in a severe car accident in December 2022, is not yet fully fit. Alongside KS Bharat, Dhruv Jurel was also part of the squads for the initial two Tests.
“We are in touch with him, it is not that we have not been in touch. He has not yet started playing right so at the moment it is not something we can consider. Because you know he maybe he is not ready. He decides when he wants to be ready. We have got options with Rishabh injured and stuff. I am sure the selectors will weight all options,” he said.
Bharat himself would agree he could have done better with bat
Dravid was satisfied with the way Bharat kept in the first two Tests but could not say the same about his batting.
He mistimed a half tracker to be caught at mid-on in the second innings and has not done much with the bat so far in the series.
“Disappointed is a strong word (for Bharat). I would not use that word. At times, young players do take time to develop. They grow at their own pace. Yeah I mean as a coach, you want players to grab the opportunities. His keeping has been good, he will also agree that he could have done better with the bat,” added the head coach.
(With inputs from PTI)

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