When the BCCI on Sunday (January 7) announced Team India’s 16-member squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Afghanistan, there were a couple of notable omissions in it.
Wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan and middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer were left out of the squad, much to the surprise of cricket fans and pundits.
Ishan was last seen in action during the home T20I series against Australia post the 2023 World Cup. While the southpaw was not considered for the white-ball leg of the South Africa tour, he opted out of the Test series citing personal reasons.
On the other hand, Shreyas registered scores of 52, 31, 6, 0 and 4* in the only ODI innings and four Test innings he played on the tour of South Africa.
While the BCCI didn’t offer any clarity on their snub, a report published in Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika has claimed that Ishan and Shreyas were excluded from Afghanistan T20Is on disciplinary grounds.
According to the report, the selectors were left annoyed as Ishan was seen partying with former India captain MS Dhoni in Dubai after opting out of the Test series. The left-hander then appeared in a popular TV quiz show.
The report further stated that Ishan Kishan's actions might lead to his exclusion from the T20 World Cup 2024 squad as well.
As for Shreyas Iyer, the selectors were reportedly not impressed with his shot selection during the South Africa Test series and wanted the Mumbai batter to play in the Ranji Trophy first-round match. However, the 29-year-old asked for some time off.
The report suggested that Iyer’s call did not sit well with the selectors as they decided to drop him from the Afghanistan T20I series.
The Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee has reportedly decided to deal strictly with players who do not take Test and first-class cricket seriously.
Notably, Shreyas Iyer later made himself available and has been picked in Mumbai’s squad for their second Ranji Trophy game against Andhra, starting January 12.
As per the report, the selectors were quite impressed with Rinku Singh and Shubman Gill's hard work and commitment and the former might get a chance to make Test debut soon.