Ishan Kishan Set to Miss Another Ranji Trophy Match

Ishan Kishan hasn't played competitive cricket since November last year. (PTI Photo)

Ishan Kishan hasn’t played competitive cricket since November last year. (PTI Photo)

Even after BCCI’s ultimatum to players, Ishan Kishan continues to give Ranji Trophy a miss and will not feature in Jharkhand’s final group game starting February 16.

Ishan Kishan’s absence from Ranji Trophy continues as the young wicketkeeper-batter is set to miss the final round starting on February 16 and Kumar Kushagra will continue doing wicket-keeping duties for Jharkhand.

Jharkhand, who have only one win and 10 points from six games so far, will be playing Rajasthan in Jamshedpur in their final round. Kishan’s continuous absence from cricket continues to raise eyebrows.

CricketNext has learnt that the youngster is in touch with coach Rahul Dravid and has already informed him about his focus on fitness and training at the moment.

Dravid, however, had insisted after the second India-England Test that Kishan needs to play “some cricket” to make a comeback.

“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 had said.

Kishan has been away from action since getting a break from the South Africa tour. The dashing left-hander wasn’t considered for the T20Is vs Afghanistan and didn’t feature in discussions for the ongoing five-Test series vs England.

Even after the break, Kishan had a golden opportunity to get some game time in the ongoing Ranji Trophy but he chose to work on his fitness in Baroda. The move, and continuous absence, hasn’t gone down well with top brass of the BCCI as Test discards Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal have been making appearances for their respective states.

On the sidelines of an event in Rajkot on February 14, BCCI secretary Jay Shah emphasised that the ultimatum applies to everyone and not just Ishan.

“He is a youngster… there is no need to mention his name. It applies to everyone. Everyone under the contract and the ones being targeted too. All players will have no choice but to play domestic cricket,” said Shah.

He further added that letters will now be sent out as players have already been informed on phone about participating in red-ball cricket.

“They (players) have been informed on phone already and I’m going to write letters as well that if your chairman of selectors, your coach and your captain are asking for it then you will have to play red-ball cricket,” added Shah.

The Indian cricket board will continue to follow advice from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) but no “tantrums” would be tolerated.“Whatever advice we get from the NCA — say suppose somebody’s body is not able to handle both white-ball and red-ball cricket — so we do not want to impose anything in that regard. (It applies to) whoever is fit and young — we are not going to tolerate any other tantrums. This message is for all centrally contracted players and targeted players too,” said Shah.

Ishan last featured in the first three games of a five-match T20I series against Australia, scoring 58, 52, and 0 last year.

Earlier, Ishan was used as a make-shift opener during the ODI World Cup and played two games at the start until Shubman Gill recovered from Dengue.

In Tests, Ishan showed a glimpse of being a good middle order batter after scoring a quick-fire half century against West Indies in Port of Spain last year.

However, the Indian team management went ahead with KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper-batter during the South Africa tour in Decemer-January.

Ishan faced a similar situation when he was dropped soon after scoring his first ODI double-ton against Bangladesh in December 2022.

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