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Ishan Kishan chose not to play in the Test series against South Africa due to “mental fatigue” and constant traveling.

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In a recent press release, the Indian cricket board cited ‘personal reasons’ as the cause for Ishan Kishan’s decision to withdraw from the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Despite being a constant companion with the Indian team, Kishan found himself on the field only when regular players were unavailable. The constant travel and uncertainty surrounding his playing opportunities led to ‘mental fatigue,’ prompting the wicketkeeper-batsman to take a break from the Test series starting next Tuesday.

Sources from The Indian Express reveal that Kishan had approached the Indian team management during their South Africa tour last week, expressing the need for a break after a year of non-stop travel. The team management discussed his request with the selectors, who agreed to Kishan’s decision.

“He communicated to the team management about experiencing mental fatigue and expressed the desire for a cricket break. Everyone concurred,” confirmed a source to this paper.

In an earlier press release, the Indian board had cited ‘personal reasons’ for Kishan’s withdrawal from the upcoming Test series.

“BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated in the press release, ‘Ishan Kishan has requested the BCCI to be released from the upcoming Test series against South Africa citing personal reasons. The wicketkeeper has subsequently been withdrawn from the Test squad, and KS Bharat has been named as a replacement.'”

Kishan had been a part of every Indian squad since January 3, 2023, constantly on the road without substantial playing time. Despite playing the initial games in the 50-over World Cup and the T20I series against Australia, Kishan found himself on the sidelines during the South Africa tour, with the team management preferring Jitesh Sharma over him.

The hectic cricketing calendar, starting with the Sri Lanka series in January, followed by the home series against Australia, the IPL season with Mumbai Indians, and subsequent tours to England and the West Indies, contributed to Kishan’s decision to take a break. His involvement in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and a three-ODI series at home against Australia before the World Cup added to his exhaustive schedule.

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India vs Sri Lanka Squad 4 Takeaways: Hardik Pandya Snubbed From Leadership Group, Big Stars Ignored And More

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With India’s squad for Gautam Gambhir‘s first series as India head coach getting announced, major changes have already started taking place. Gambhir’s influence and voice in the selection process is evident. Suryakumar Yadav – once Gambhir’s vice-captain at Kolkata Knight Riders – has been named as the captain of the T20I squad, ahead of 2024 T20 World Cup vice-captain Hardik Pandya. Jasprit Bumrah will be given an extended rest, while Shreyas Iyer returns to the ODI setup despite not having a BCCI central contract. Here are four key takeaways by NDTV Sports from the India squad for the Sri Lanka tour:

1. Hardik Pandya not part of leadership group

Whilst Gambhir’s faith in Suryakumar Yadav is not a surprise, what is alarming is the complete omission of Hardik Pandya from any sort of captaincy role. Instead, it is India’s captain in the Zimbabwe tour, Shubman Gill, who has been named vice-captain in both the ODIs and T20Is.

One can only speculate the real reason behind Hardik’s downfall on the captaincy pecking order. Is it Hardik’s disastrous Mumbai Indians stint? Or is it the fact that Hardik’s injury-prone nature means he may not always be a part of the squad? It could also be that Gambhir is firmly looking towards the future, aiming to prepare Gill as India’s next captain in all formats from now itself.

2. Shubman Gill’s Big Promotion

Gambhir seems to have his eyes set firmly on the 2027 World Cup, and it seems like Shubman Gill is his vote as the nation’s future captain in all formats. Gill has been named as the vice-captain in both the T20I and the ODI squads, ahead of Hardik Pandya no less. With Rohit being 37 and Suryakumar 33, Gambhir is looking to mould a future captain right from the start.

3. Abhishek Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav, Ruturaj Gaikwad left out of T20I squad

Despite Kuldeep’s starring role in India’s 2024 T20 World Cup victory – where he picked up 10 wickets in just five games – he has been left out of the T20I squad. The reason behind this could be to manage Kuldeep’s workload, as he still continues to feature in the ODI squad.

Gambhir has also worked in close quarters with Ravi Bishnoi in the past at Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), and may trust him as India’s lead spinner in T20Is.

Gaikwad has also been left out, despite a fine T20I series against Zimbabwe. He has been left out from both squads, with the likes of Riyan Parag favoured over him.

Abhishek Sharma scored a ton against Zimbabwe but he has also been dropped from the Sri Lanka tour, while off-colour Riyan Parag has been picked for both T20Is and ODIs.

4. Gambhir backs his KKR boys

KKR stars Shreyas Iyer, Harshit Rana (ODIs) and Rinku Singh (T20Is) are all part of Gambhir’s first India squad. Much like Suryakumar, Gambhir’s faith in Shreyas Iyer also does not come as a surprise, after he guided KKR to a third IPL title in 2024. Harshit Rana had an excellent campaign, and could be utilised as a handy lower-order batsman as well in the ODI format.

Here the India squads for Sri Lanka tour –

T20I Squad: Suryakumar Yadav (C), Shubman Gill (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh, Riyan Parag, Rishabh Pant (WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohd. Siraj. 

ODI Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill (VC), Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (WK), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Washington Sundar, Arshdeep Singh, Riyan Parag, Axar Patel, Khaleel Ahmed, Harshit Rana.

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Hardik Pandya And Wife Natasa Stankovic “Mutually Part Ways”, To Co-Parent Son Agastya

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File photo of Hardik Pandya and Natasa Stankovic© Instagram




India star cricketer Hardik Pandya in an Instagram post on Thursday announced that he and wife Natasa Stankovic have ‘mutually parted ways’. For the last few months there were rumours that the celebrity couple were headed for a divorce, and with Thursday’s announcement it has been officially confirmed. Hardik Pandya has been a crucial player for the Indian cricket team over the past few years  


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India vs Pakistan: Players To Watch Out For In Upcoming Women’s Asia Cup Clash

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The first day of the 2024 Women’s Asia Cup on July 19 will see the big clash between India and Pakistan at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium. India come in as the defending champions and have won the tournament seven times.

They also have an 11-3 lead over Pakistan in women’s T20I meetings. On the other hand, Pakistan enter the event after an inconsistent run of results in their bilateral commitments but have the confidence to upstage India, as they did in the 2022 edition of the tournament at Sylhet in Bangladesh.

We look at the players to watch out for in the upcoming big clash between India and Pakistan, which will be streamed live on Disney Hotstar for eager fans in India:

1. Smriti Mandhana

The India vice-captain comes into the tournament on the back of a scintillating performance across formats in the recent home series against South Africa. Scores of 117, 136 and 90 in India’s 3-0 ODI sweep at Bengaluru fetched her Player of the Series Award. It was followed by the left-handed opener making 149 in the lone Test and scores of 46 and 54 not out in the two T20Is at Chennai. With Shafali Verma in good form too, expect Smriti to bat for long and take India to a winning position.

2. Renuka Singh Thakur

The fast-bowler, who won the ICC Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2022, is tipped to lead the Indian fast-bowling challenge in the Asia Cup. Her excellent performance of 3-18 in the T20I series opener against Bangladesh, along with her previous excellent performances against Australia and England, is still very much fresh in the minds of fans.

3. Deepti Sharma

The off-spin all-rounder boasts of a staggering achievement -– the first Indian woman to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in women’s T20Is. Her ability to control the run flow and deceive batters with flight, turn, and loop will be a major challenge for Pakistan’s middle order. The last time India won the Asia Cup, Deepti had bagged the Player of the Series Award for picking 13 scalps, the most by any bowler in the competition. Deepti’s left-handed batting adds another weapon to her arsenal, making her a truly valuable player in the Indian line-up.

4. Shreyanka Patil

The young all-rounder from Bengaluru is an off-spinner and can maintain tight lines, which also her become the WPL 2024 leading wicket-taker with 13 scalps. Having quickly risen through the domestic ranks, Patil’s potential to pick up crucial wickets, along with her handy batting and fielding skills, makes her a complete package to watch in this high-stakes game.

5. Nida Dar

The Pakistan skipper brings experience and versatility to the bowling attack through her crafty off-spin bowling. This year, Nida became the highest wicket-taker in women’s T20Is during Pakistan’s second game against England in Northampton. Her sharp off-spin deliveries and power-hitting abilities make her a true all-rounder for Pakistan, something that India has experienced in the past during their last Asia Cup meeting in Sylhet.

6. Sidra Amin

The right-handed batter has been on a good run with the bat this year — she has 205 runs from eight innings for T20Is in Pakistan this year. She and Muneeba Ali have been the lynchpins of Pakistan’s batting order and a lot depends on them when they face a strong Indian bowling line-up.

7. Omaima Sohail

The right-handed top-order batter, who also bowls off-spin, last played for Pakistan on their tour of New Zealand and is now back in the national team for the Asia Cup, where she would be itching to make a big statement against India, after going through the grind in domestic tournaments.

8. Syeda Aroob Shah

The leg-spin all-rounder came back into the national set-up for the first time since Pakistan’s series against South Africa last year. Aroob made her international debut in 2019 as a 15-year-old, quickly garnering attention for her skill and composure on the field. With an ability to deceive batters and provide crucial breakthroughs, she can come in handy if Pakistan field her on Friday against India.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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