There have been a lot of speculation regarding wicket-keeper batter Ishan Kishan not being included in the Indian cricket team squad for the T20I series against Afghanistan starting Thursday. Kishan ruled himself out of the Test series against South Africa citing personal reasons and some reports stated that his trip to Dubai and appearance in a television game show may have resulted in the team management not selecting him for the series. However, during the pre-match press conference ahead of the first T20I, head coach Rahul Dravid rubbished those rumours and said that Kishan has not made himself available for selection yet.

“He asked for the rest. I do not think he has made himself available for selection yet. When he is available, he will play domestic cricket and officially make himself available for selection,” Dravid said.

KL Rahul was also not included in the squad for the Afghanistan T20I series with Jitesh Sharma and Sanju Samson finding a place as wicket-keepers. The three-match series is extremely crucial as this is the only T20I series before the T20 World Cup 2024 and the perfect place to prove one’s capabilities.

Meanwhile, the return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to the T20 format after 14 months will be keenly observed when India face Afghanistan in the first ever white-ball series between the two teams,.

The three-match contest will be India’s last before the T20 World Cup in June, giving the team more clarity on where it stands ahead of the ICC event in Americas.

However, the final 15 will be picked on the core group’s performance in the IPL, which precedes the World Cup.

Rohit and Kohli, now that they are back in the T20 setup, are a certainty in that squad but the accomplished duo would first like to get the most out of the games against Afghanistan, who would be without their star spinner Rashid Khan.

Khan underwent a back surgery in November last year and is still recuperating.

“He is not totally fit. We will miss him in the series. We will struggle without Rashid but one should be ready for any kind of situation,” Afghanistan captain Ibrahim Zadran said in the pre-match press conference here, hoping that others in the side would step up.

(With PTI inputs)

Topics mentioned in this article

Source link