We are not forcing him to do anything: Dravid on Ishan Kishan's absence

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid said that Ishan Kishan has to play again to come back to the Indian team. FIle photo: AFP/Money Sharma

Visakhapatnam: Ishan Kishan needs to decide when he will start playing "some form of cricket" and then only can he be considered for national selection, head coach Rahul Dravid said on Monday addressing queries on his prolonged break from both international and domestic cricket.

A regular member of the Indian team across formats not so long ago, Kishan has been missing from action since he asked for a break in the middle of the South Africa tour in December citing personal reasons. He last turned up for India in November and has not featured for Jharkhand in ongoing Ranji Trophy.

After the series-levelling win over England, Dravid tried to clear the air over Kishan's absence once again.

"There is way back for anyone and everyone. I don't want to go on labouring about the Ishan Kishan point. Have tried to explain this as best as I can, the point was he had requested a break, we were happy to give him the break," said Dravid in the media interaction.

"Whenever he is ready, I didn't say he has to play domestic cricket, I said whenever he is ready, he needs to play some cricket and come back. The choice is his. We are not forcing him to do anything," Dravid didn't seem to amused with the queries and also made it team management's stance clear on the issue.

Considering K S Bharat's ordinary run with the bat in the ongoing series against England, India could do with Kishan's services. Rishabh Pant has not yet full recovered from the injuries he suffered in a horrific car accident in December, 2022. Besides Bharat, Dhruv Jurel was also part of the first two Tests.

"We are in touch with him, it is not that we have not been in touch. He has not yet started playing right so at the moment it is not something we can consider. I am sure the selectors will weight all options," he said.

Bharat himself would agree he could have done better with bat

Dravid was satisfied with the way Bharat kept in the first two Tests but could not say the same about his batting.

He mistimed a half-tracker to be caught at mid-on in the second innings and has not done much with the bat so far in the series.

"Disappointed is a strong word (for Bharat). I would not use that word. At times, young players do take time to develop. They grow at their own pace. Yeah I mean as a coach, you want players to grab the opportunities. His keeping has been good, he will also agree that he could have done better with the bat," added Dravid.

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