The recent announcement of the Indian cricket team's squad for the 3-match IND vs AFG T20I series has sparked a lot of discussions and speculations. While the return of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma has grabbed the headlines, there's one player who has gone unnoticed - Ishan Kishan. Despite scoring two fifties in his last three T20I innings, Kishan finds himself dropped from the squad. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind Ishan Kishan's exclusion and analyze the factors that led to this decision.
Ishan Kishan's Exclusion
While the return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli has brought immense excitement, the exclusion of Ishan Kishan from the T20I squad has raised a few eyebrows. Ishan Kishan, a talented wicketkeeper-batsman, has showcased his skills in the Indian Premier League, especially during his explosive innings for the Mumbai Indians. However, it seems like the selectors have taken a different approach for this series. The reasons behind Ishan Kishan's exclusion remain unknown, but it is expected that the selectors have their own strategic plans for the series against Afghanistan.
Reason Remain Uncertain for Ishan's Exclusion
The exclusion of Ishan Kishan from the squad is notable. During the South Africa tour, he opted for a much-needed break to prioritize his mental well-being. It remains unclear if this decision was voluntary on the part of the cricketer once again.
Ishan Kishan has found it challenging to secure a consistent run in the Indian team. Despite his talent and potential, he has often served as a backup player or warmed the bench during key matches.
After the Border-Gavaskar series in February-March, where he played as a backup to KS Bharat, Ishan had limited opportunities in the ODI series against Australia. Following the IPL 2023 season, he traveled to England for the World Test Championship final but did not get a chance to play. He finally had a run in the tour of West Indies, where he featured in all the matches - two Tests, three ODIs, and as many T20Is.
However, Ishan's game time was short-lived as he then traveled to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup, followed by the ODI World Cup, where he played only two games. In the T20I series against Australia, he played three matches before being replaced by Jitesh Sharma for the South Africa T20I series.
Ishan Kishan's exclusion from the T20I squad seems to be a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It's not that Kishan did anything wrong to miss out on the IND vs AFG T20I series. Rather, it's a matter of the inclusion of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, two senior players who have returned to the squad after a break. With their return, the top-order positions are filled, leaving limited opportunities for Kishan.
Ishan Kishan's Form
During the Asia Cup match against Pakistan, Kishan had the opportunity to bat at No. 5, a significant milestone in his budding career. He seized the moment and showcased his batting prowess, scoring a fluent 82 off 81 balls. This innings was particularly crucial as it came against a formidable bowling attack, with India struggling at 66 for 4 at one stage. Kishan's ability to handle pressure and his mature approach to the game impressed both his coaches and fans alike.
Ishan Kishan's Career-Best Score
In his previous ODI, Ishan Kishan had scored an impressive 93 runs against South Africa at Ranchi on October 9, 2022. However, he surpassed his own record by posting a career-best score of 210 against Bangladesh. This incredible knock demonstrated Kishan's exceptional batting prowess and cemented his place among the finest young talents in the world of cricket.
Converting a Maiden Century into a Double Hundred
Ishan Kishan achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first player in Men's ODIs to convert his maiden century into a double hundred. This extraordinary milestone highlights Kishan's ability to thrive under pressure and his hunger for big scores. It is a testament to his immense talent and potential for future success.
First Indian to Score a Double Hundred Away from Home
Not only did Ishan Kishan create history by converting his century into a double hundred, but he also became the first Indian player to achieve this feat away from home in ODIs. His innings of 210 is the highest individual score against Bangladesh in ODIs, surpassing the previous record of 194 not out set by Charles Coventry for Zimbabwe on August 16, 2009. This remarkable achievement showcases Kishan's ability to perform exceptionally in challenging conditions.
A Double Century on Bangladeshi Soil
Ishan Kishan's double century in ODIs on Bangladesh soil is another significant record that he etched his name into. Surpassing Shane Watson's 185 not out for Australia against Bangladesh on April 11, 2011, Kishan became the first player to achieve this milestone. His exceptional innings will be remembered as a defining moment in his career and a testament to his adaptability on foreign pitches.
Joining the Elite Club of Left-Handed Double Centurions
Ishan Kishan's achievement also places him in an elite club of left-handed players who have registered double centuries in ODIs. The two previous members of this exclusive club were West Indian batsman Chris Gayle, who scored 215 off 147 balls against Zimbabwe on February 24, 2015, and Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman, who scored an unbeaten 210 off 156 balls against Zimbabwe on July 20, 2018. Kishan's inclusion in this esteemed group further solidifies his position as a rising star in international cricket.
Youngest Batter to Score a Double Century in ODIs
At the age of 24 years and 145 days, Ishan Kishan became the youngest batter to post a double century in ODIs. This remarkable achievement surpasses the previous record held by Rohit Sharma, who accomplished the feat at the age of 26 years and 186 days while scoring 209 off 158 balls against Australia in Bengaluru on November 2, 2013. Kishan's early success is a testament to his natural talent and potential to dominate the cricket world for years to come.
The return of Rohit Sharma as the captain of the Indian T20I team, along with Virat Kohli's comeback, has sparked excitement among cricket enthusiasts. The exclusion of Ishan Kishan, coupled with the selection of young talents, adds an element of surprise to the squad. The T20I series against Afghanistan serves as a stepping stone for the Indian team's preparation for the T20 World Cup 2024. With a well-balanced squad and a formidable batting and bowling lineup, the Indian team is ready to showcase their skills and make a strong statement in the series. Cricket fans eagerly await the action-packed matches that lie ahead.
Ishan Kishan's exclusion from the IND vs AFG T20I series squad is not a reflection of his abilities or his recent performances. It is a result of the return of senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, along with strong competition from other talented young batsmen. While Kishan's omission is disappointing, it highlights the depth and competitiveness of Indian cricket. As the T20 World Cup 2024 approaches, it will be interesting to see how the selection process unfolds and which players eventually make the cut.