Indian wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan said on Tuesday that he enjoys playing red-ball cricket, because the ball swings and one has to play according to situations without any pressure of scoring quick runs. Kishan’s statement comes after he was named in India’s red-ball squad for the first two home tests against Australia. “I enjoy playing red-ball cricket. It’s a challenge in itself when the red ball is swinging and a batsman is being sledged at. As a batter, you have a lot of time and are under no pressure to score quick runs. Situations could be easy or difficult. I love playing according to situations,” said Kishan in a video posted by BCCI, also featuring opening batter Shubman Gill.
Kishan said it felt good to have received his maiden Test call-up as even when he was playing white-ball cricket for India, his father would tell him that the longer format is where one faces a lot of challenges and it is where his skills will be truly tested.
“To play at that level is a big achievement. When I learned about my Test call-up, I was really happy. Test cricket is considered as the best form of cricket. If I get a chance in red-ball cricket, I will give my all to help my country win,” added Kishan.
Kishan said he rang up his family after receiving the news of his maiden Test call-up.
“Dad said keep practicing and working hard like that,” he added.
The southpaw said he bats number six in red-ball cricket in the Ranji Trophy as one batting in that position has to read situations well.
“I bat No.6 in red-ball cricket for my state. It is an important batting position as one needs to be able to read situations well. I will be letting my team down if I play a rash shot without reading the situation. However, I have enough experience (in red-ball cricket) to know and understand the importance of putting my team in a strong position. When bowlers have an upper hand and the field is set right, I look to trust my skills and go for my shots. But playing the ball on its merit is the way to go,” said Kishan.
Kishan represents Jharkhand in first-class cricket. In 48 first-class matches and 82 innings, he has scored 2,985 runs at an average of 38.76. He has six centuries and 16 half-centuries in the red-ball format, with a personal best of 273.
Ishan has been included as a replacement for India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who is nursing his injuries after surviving a horrific car accident.
The Test squad for the Border-Gavaskar trophy against Australia will also see the return of batting mainstays Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli after missing out on the T20I series against New Zealand.
KL Rahul and Axar Patel will also mark the return to the Test setup after missing the limited-over series against the Kiwis.
Kishan will compete for the wicketkeeper-batsman’s slot with KS Bharat.
Saurashtra captain Jaydev Unadkat, who received a call-up in the Test squad for the recent Bangladesh tour after long years in the wilderness and fared decently, retained his place in the red-ball setup for the high-stakes series against Australia.
Premier all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has also been named in the Test squad but his inclusion in the playing eleven is subject to fitness, the selection panel clarified.
Aside from Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, who is a regular feature for Team India in home Tests, and Kuldeep Yadav will form a potent spin attack.
Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah will continue his rehabilitation as he hasn’t been named in the squad. The pace attack will comprise Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj, with Unadkat bringing an element of variation with his left-arm seam.
The series is a big one for both teams as they look to qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) final. The series begins in Nagpur on February 9 with the other four Tests in Delhi, Dharamsala and Ahmedabad.
India’s Test squad for the first two Tests against Australia: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat and Suryakumar Yadav.
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