Ishan Kishan pulled out of the series against South Africa, citing mental fatigue in December 2023. The team management excused him and KL Rahul replaced him in the playing XI. Later on, he missed the T20I series against Afghanistan and is out of the squad in the five-match Test series against England. When head coach Rahul Dravid was asked about his availability, the former cricketer mentioned that the youngster is yet to make himself available, which has questioned his professionalism and his commitment towards the national team.
However, Kishan has finally started practising, as he was spotted training with Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya in the Reliance Stadium in Baroda. Hardik, who suffered an ankle injury during the ODI World Cup is yet to gain full fitness but is expected to make his return in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. The trio is currently working with former cricketer Kiran More as the 61-year-old has confirmed the same to Cricbuzz.
As per reports, the wicket-keeper batter is in no mood to return to professional cricket. Speaking to the press, Dravid mentioned that Kishan needs to play some competitive matches to make it to the national squad but as things stand, he will not feature in Jharkhand’s upcoming Ranji Trophy match against Haryana, which will start on February 9. That practically rules out Kishan’s chances to feature in the remaining matches against England, which will resume with the third Test on February 15.
KL Rahul likely to return in third Test
KL Rahul, who missed the second Test due to a minor injury is expected to make his return to the playing XI. The star batter will likely replace Rajat Patidar, who made his debut in Visakhapatnam. Interestingly, multiple reports claim that star pacer Jasprit Bumrah can miss the third Test as well. He is likely to be given a rest, with Mohammed Siraj making his return.
However, with a break of ten days, the strategies might change. The decision solely depends on Bumrah and how he feels ahead of Rajkot Test.
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