Mohali, Jan 10:  India head coach Rahul Dravid on Wednesday dispelled speculations surrounding the absence of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer from the T20 International series against Afghanistan. Contrary to swirling rumours of disciplinary issues, Dravid asserted that the omissions were purely strategic and devoid of any behavioural concerns. The revelation came as both Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer found themselves missing from India's 16-member squad set to face Afghanistan in a three-match T20I series commencing on January 11. Dravid, in a pre-series press conference, clarified the situation, starting with Ishan Kishan. “No, absolutely not (disciplinary issue). Ishan Kishan was not available for selection. Ishan requested for a break, which we agreed in South Africa. We supported it. He has not yet made himself available. I don't think he has made himself available as yet. When he is available, he will play domestic cricket and make himself available for selection," said Rahul Dravid. Dravid disclosed that Kishan had requested a break due to mental fatigue during the South Africa tour, a plea the team management respected and supported. Virat Kohli to Miss India vs Afghanistan 1st T20I at Mohali Due to Personal Reasons; Set to Join Squad Before 2nd T20I.

Addressing Shreyas Iyer's absence, Dravid dismissed any notion of disciplinary concerns and instead attributed it to the fierce competition within the squad. The seasoned batsman, who also sat out the T20Is in South Africa, faced stiff competition for limited spots, resulting in his exclusion. Dravid assured the media that there were no talks with selectors regarding disciplinary matters concerning either player.

"Certainly, in Shreyas Iyer's case, there is absolutely no disciplinary reason for his non-inclusion. It's just that he missed out. There were a lot of battes in the team. Shreyas missed out, he didn't play the T20Is in South Africa, if you noticed. They are a lot of batters and it's not easy to fit everyone. So, absolutely, there is no disciplinary reasons at all. At least I didn't discuss such things with the selectors," Rahul Dravid added.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 10, 2024 07:25 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website