The exit of Ishan Kishan from the upcoming Duleep Trophy left the selectors in dilemma. The India wicketkeeper-batter, who was named in the squad for the World Test Championship final against Australia opted out of the East Zone team, just a month before the West Indies tour. As a replacement, the selectors have named Bengal cricketer Abhishek Porel for keeping the wickets. The decision came as a shocker as the selectors did not go with Wriddhiman Saha, who is an experienced gloveman and an ace batter.
On being asked about making such a choice, Tripura selector Jayanta Dey revealed that he had contacted Saha before making the decision but the 38-year-old cricketer himself rejected the offer.
“To be fair to Wriddhiman, he said that Duleep Trophy is for India hopefuls. If I am never going to play for India, then doesn’t make sense in preventing a youngster from making a case. Hence we selected Abhishek Porel, who was the third choice,” Jayanta Dey told PTI.
Notably, Saha had a wonderful outing with the gloves in the IPL 2023 as he took nine catches and two stumpings and finished as the second wicketkeeper of the season after Ishan Kishan.
Coming to the Duleep Trophy, India A skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran will be leading the East Zone team while former India spinner Shahbaz Nadeem will be his deputy.
The selectors revealed that being a senior player, Ishan would have got the captaincy but he informed them that he is “not interested” in playing Duleep Trophy.
“Since he was in India squad for WTC final and KS Bharat, the man who kept wickets is playing for South Zone, we asked Zonal selection committee convenor Debasish Chakraborty to tell us if we could select Kishan,” an East Zone selection committee member told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“As he is a senior India regular in white ball, he would have got the captaincy. Chakraborty got in touch with Ishan over phone and came back and told us that he is not interested in playing Duleep Trophy. We were not told if he has an injury or not. Just that he doesn’t want to play,” the selector said.
Squad:A Easwaran (capt), Santanu Mishra, Sudip Gharami, Riyan Parag, A. Majumdar, Bipin Saurabh, A Porel (wk), K Kushagra (wk), S Nadeem (vc), Shahbaz Ahmed, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Anukul Roy, M Mura Singh, Ishan Porel.
(With PTI Inputs)
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