‘Mental fatigue’ prompted Ishan Kishan to skip South Africa Test series

Written by Shreyas Vyas

Team India will be without the services of three of their players, who were named in the initial squad for the two-match Test series against South Africa which begins from Tuesday onwards in Centurion. Ruturaj Gaikwad has been reportedly released from the squad owing to the finger injury he incurred during the ODI series earlier this week, while veteran fast bowler Mohammed Shami did not fly with the contingent to South Africa because of his ankle injury as he recovers at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. The third, Ishan Kishan, on the other hand, had opted out of the contest citing “personal reasons”. While BCCI did not explain the details behind it in their official statement, the true reason behind Ishan’s absence has been identified.

According to a report in Indian Express, “mental fatigue”, arising from constant travel and lack of enough game time, has been the primary reason for Ishan’s decision. The report added that the wicketkeeper-batter had requested the Indian team management last week for a break from cricket after non-stop travelling for the last one year, which was also discussed with the selectors before being granted.

“He informed the team management that he is having mental fatigue and wants a break from cricket for some time. Everyone agreed to it,” a source confirmed the national daily.

BCCI had earlier last week released an official statement saying that Ishan cited “personal reasons” behind him opting out of the contest, which could have been his second Test series for India having made his debut in the previous contest, against the West Indies in August. The selectors hence named KS Bharat as his replacement.

Ishan has been on the road since January 3 this year, but has hardly managed a consistent run in the Indian team. He was part of the Border-Gavaskar series in February-March, but served as a back-up to Bharat. He played just one game in the ODI series that followed against the Aussies. After the IPL 2023 season, he travelled to England for the World Test Championship final only to warm the bench.

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Shreyas Vyas