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Player’s Choice: Rahul Dravid’s Flexibility Regarding Kishan’s Cricket Comeback

Rahul Dravid talked about Ishan Kishan, who recently decided to take a break from cricket after India tied the series with England in Visakhapatnam. He said that the management wasn’t “forcing him to do anything.”

In December 2023, Kishan represented India in three T20I matches in South Africa but did not participate. India’s Test wicketkeeper on their July Caribbean tour was not considered for this series or the previous one in South Africa because he requested time off from the BCCI. His last competitive game was the November T20I series against Australia at home. He hasn’t played in the Ranji Trophy.

Rahul Dravid’s Perspective

Dravid, addressing the situation following the Visakhapatnam Test victory, emphasized an inclusive approach, stating, “There’s a way back for anyone and everyone.” He clarified the stance on Ishan Kishan, highlighting that Kishan had requested a break, which the team respected.

Dravid reiterated that they were not pressuring Kishan to return, emphasizing that the decision lay solely with him. Despite being in touch with Kishan, Dravid noted that Kishan had yet to resume playing cricket, indicating that his readiness was paramount.

Dravid expressed confidence in the selectors to consider all options, particularly with Rishabh Pant sidelined, emphasizing Kishan’s autonomy in determining his return to the game.

Rahul Dravid’s Perspective

India chose KS Bharat, KL Rahul (who kept in South Africa), and Dhruv Jurel as wicketkeepers for the first two Tests against England. Bharat had six catches in both Tests, scoring 41, 28, 17, and 6. He pushed India closer in the chase in Hyderabad as the top order struggled with Tom Hartley’s left-arm spin.

Bharat’s Performance

In Visakhapatnam, Bharat’s innings ended on the brink of stumps on day one, despite a promising start. With Yashasvi Jaiswal delivering an exceptional performance at the other end, India concluded the day at 336 for 6, eventually reaching 396 all out. However, in the second innings, Bharat’s dismissal, attributed to a loose shot, exposed India’s tail to England’s attack, with India’s lead standing at 371.

Despite acknowledging Bharat’s need for batting refinement, Dravid voiced support for his wicketkeeping skills. Bharat’s contribution behind the stumps, including a remarkable running and diving catch near short leg, aided India in securing the first second-innings wicket, crucial for leveling the series.

Bharat’s Performance

“Young players need time to develop and they’re growing at their own pace,” he remarked. “As a coach, you want newcomers to take advantage of opportunities and perform. His Test match keeping has been great. I suppose he’ll also acknowledge that his hitting could have been better.

There were chances. He’s played on some tough courses, but he’s also had chances to do better.”

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