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  5. IND vs ENG: What does Ishan Kishan's continuous absence from Team India mean?

IND vs ENG: What does Ishan Kishan's continuous absence from Team India mean?

IND vs ENG: Ishan Kishan's last presence in the Indian team came when the Men in Blue toured South Africa for an all-format series. Kishan was part of the two important formats - Tests and T20Is but pulled out from the longest format after warming the benches in the T20Is.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Updated on: January 13, 2024 8:13 IST
Ishan Kishan
Image Source : GETTY Ishan Kishan.

IND vs ENG: From being looked at as one of the key stars to taking India's baton forward to his continuous absence from the International scene, Ishan Kishan is facing a different time. Like many other Indian players, Kishan is looked at as one destined for big achievements in his career. The Southpaw might have entered the frame of a number 3 spot in T20Is as he smashed back-to-back fifties at one down in the T20I series against Australia recently. But all of a sudden, he is nowhere in the team now.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India's squad for two Tests of the upcoming five-match series against England and Kishan was once again not in the team. He was last seen in action in the Australia T20I series. He was part of the two most important formats - Tests and T20Is in South Africa too but was not picked in the 20-over games as India promoted Tilak Varma at number three. After the series, Kishan pulled out from the Tests and has not been included in the Afghanistan T20Is and neither in the first two Tests for England. 

While the BCCI did not state anything regarding his voluntary break, there was a report that claimed that Kishan had pulled out due to mental fatigue. Speculations became rife. Kishan was seen partying in Dubai during the new year time, which drew criticism from a section. It was being speculated that he might have attended a Television show without permission and may have disciplined by BCCI for it. However, India's head coach Rahul Dravid brushed the claim apart. Dravid said that there have been no disciplinary actions taken against Kishan and it is just that he has still not made himself available for selection. 

"Absolutely no disciplinary issue. Ishan Kishan was not available for selection. Ishan requested for a break, which we agreed in South Africa. We supported it. He has not yet made himself available. When he is available, he will play domestic cricket and make himself available for selection," Dravid said ahead of India's series opener against Afghanistan.

Kishan's mental fatigue a point worth a million dollars

All the signals currently point out that Kishan is out due to mental fatigue. Apart from BCCI's release and Dravid's statements, another thing which points strongly towards this is that Kishan was seen meditating along with training while he is on break. Mental fatigue is a real thing in any profession. Kishan was on the road for a long period and did not get much break in between. Add on that there is tooth and nail fight for spots in the Indian team and when you get to sit out, it can be tiring more if you have not had a sound break.

Not anyone more than Virat Kohli is a bigger name in Indian cricket now and he came in open to reveal the toll it takes to carry the load of billions of expectations together. He stated how he came to know that he is faking his intensity in tough days with the bat. Kohli took a break in 2022 and then when he came back, he is standing tall in front of everyone again. 

Ben Stokes was also hit with the same thing in 2021 when he took a five-month break to look after his mental well-being. After making a return, Stokes said he feared of not being able to play Test cricket when he was absent from the team but eventually that did not happen. He came back and was named the Test captain in April 2022 when Joe Root stepped down. Stokes, who took anxiety medication at that time, stated that the break helped him become a stronger and better leader. 

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