Ishan told BCCI about mental fatigue. Kishan was unhappy and frustrated about sitting on the bench despite making the most of the opportunities he got in all formats, especially in ODIs and T20Is.

“Where is Ishan Kishan? Any news on his availability?” tweeted former India opener Aakash Chopra after India’s squad for the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan announced on Sunday. Kishan, despite not being a regular in the XI, has been one of the few Indian cricketers who has been a part of the squad in all formats for the past year or so. Chopra’s concern was valid but slightly off the mark. As per an Indian Express report, Ishan Kishan, who flew out of South Africa before the Test series citing a family emergency, was available for selection for the Afghanistan T20Is but dropped. BCCI did not give any reasons for Kishan’s exclusion from the squad that features Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma as wicketkeeper options. But the left-hander may punished due to disciplinary reasons.

Kishan spotted training in Vadodara at the start of this week, erasing doubts about his fitness and mental fatigue. Then what could be the reason for his non-selection? Is there more to what meets the eye? According to the Express report, there surely is.

Ishan told BCCI about mental fatigue
Ishan told BCCI about mental fatigue

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Kishan went to Dubai after complaining of mental fatigue (Ishan told BCCI about mental fatigue):

It was when he was drafted into the Test squad but got an inkling that KL Rahul was going to pip him for a spot in the XI as a specialist keeper that matters went out of hand. He cited mental fatigue and family commitments and BCCI had no option but to withdraw him from the Test squad and name KS Bharat as the backup keeper.

But to the surprise of BCCI and the Indian team management, Kishan, instead of going back home to spend time with his family during the break, went to Dubai and was seen partying. “He told the team management that he had mental fatigue because he had been on the road continuously and wanted to spend time with his family back home. Instead, he chose to travel to Dubai and seen partying,” a source aware of the developments quoted in the report.

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Kishan is a consistent performer but not a regular in the India XI

Despite being a regular member of the ODI and T20I sides ever since making his debut in mid-2021, Kishan has only played 27 ODIs and 32 T20Is. He has rarely got a string of matches back-to-back. His role too has changed. Sometimes the management wanted him as a backup opener and sometimes as a specialist keeper. All of these may have played a part in the left-hander’s mind. That he was never the first-choice in any format as an opener or as a keeper may have affected his mentality.

Nobody can point fingers at Kishan for wasting opportunities. When India was slowly but surely moving away from Shikhar Dhawan as an ODI opener, Kishan smashed a double century in an ODI Bangladesh but eventually lost out to Shubman Gill as the primary opener. When asked to bat in the middle-order in the Asia Cup, he played a gallant knock against Pakistan. His average of 42 and strike rate of 102 in ODIs are the biggest proof of his pedigree.

As things stand now, there is no clarity on whether Kishan will be picked for the five-match home series against England starting January 25.

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