Dravid Denies Disciplinary Issues Behind Kishan, Iyer’s Exclusion from T20I Squad

- Cricket - January 11, 2024
Dravid Denies Disciplinary Issues Behind Kishan, Iyer’s Exclusion from T20I Squad
Dravid Denies Disciplinary Issues Behind Kishan, Iyer’s Exclusion from T20I Squad

India’s coach Rahul Dravid has rubbished the media reports that suggested that Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer were dropped from the T20I squad against Afghanistan due to disciplinary reasons. Dravid clarified that Kishan had asked for a break from international cricket during the South Africa tour, which was granted by the team management. He also said that Iyer missed out on selection due to the abundance of batsmen in the team.

Kishan, who is a wicketkeeper-batsman and a left-handed hitter, has not played for India since the third T20I against Australia in November 2023. He has been overlooked for the wicketkeeping role by KL Rahul, who has also expressed his willingness to bat in the middle-order for his IPL team Lucknow Supergiants. Dravid said that Kishan was not available for selection and that he would return to domestic cricket when he feels ready.

“Absolutely not (disciplinary issue). Ishan Kishan was not available for selection. Ishan had requested a break in South Africa which we agreed to, and supported that,” Dravid said in a press conference before the first T20I. “He has made himself unavailable for selection. I am sure when he is available (for selection), he will play domestic cricket (and come back). So that was the case,” he added.

Iyer, who is a stylish right-handed batsman and a former captain of Delhi Capitals, has also been out of favour in the T20I format. He did not play in the T20Is in South Africa and was not picked for the series against Afghanistan. Dravid said that there was no disciplinary issue with Iyer and that he was unlucky to miss out due to the competition for places in the batting order.

“Shreyas Iyer’s case has absolutely nothing to do with any disciplinary issue. It is just that he missed out. There are a lot of batsmen in the team. He did not play in the T20s in the SA as well,” Dravid said. “It is unfortunate because he is a fine player but there are a lot of batsmen and it is not easy to fit everyone into the squad or playing 11. No discipline issues were discussed, at least during my discussion with the selectors,” he added.

However, Iyer will be playing for Mumbai in their Ranji Trophy match against Andhra from Friday, and he is likely to be included in the Test squad for the home series against England later this month.

The T20I series against Afghanistan is crucial for both teams as they prepare for the T20 World Cup in June this year. India will be led by Rohit Sharma, who is making a comeback to the T20 format after 14 months. Virat Kohli, who stepped down as the T20 captain last year, will also be back in action. The series will be an opportunity for the Indian team to test their bench strength and find their best combination for the ICC event in Americas.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, will be looking to put up a strong challenge against India and prove their worth in the international stage. They have shown their talent in the past, especially in the T20 format, and have some skilful players who can trouble any team. They will be hoping to cope with the absence of their star all-rounder Rashid Khan, who has been ruled out of the series due to a back injury.

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