The cricketing world has been abuzz with excitement after India’s series-clinching victory over Australia in Indore. The anticipation ran even higher with the return of some star players after a well-deserved rest for the third and final ODI in Rajkot. However, the absence of some young talents from India’s playing XI raised some eyebrows as well.

Return of prominent players and a notable omission

After a triumphant series-clinching victory in Indore, the Indian team welcomed back prominent players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Kuldeep Yadav for the third ODI against Australia. These players had been rested by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the first two games to recover from a taxing schedule in the past months. Notably, KL Rahul had taken on the captaincy in Rohit’s absence during those initial matches against the Aussies.

Nevertheless, the return of these star players was accompanied by the surprise exclusion of the promising wicketkeeper-batter, Ishan Kishan. The Jharkhand-born cricketer had made a decent contribution to the team’s performance in the first two ODIs, scoring 18 and 31 runs, respectively. But the young batter unfortunately couldn’t make it to India’s starting XI for the final game.

Here’s why Ishan Kishan is not part of India’s playing XI for the third ODI

Rohit provided clarity on Ishan’s absence during the toss for the third ODI. He revealed that the wicketkeeper-batter was suffering from viral fever, which was the primary reason behind his omission from the playing XI.

“Myself, Virat, Kuldeep are all back. From the last game, Ashwin is also missing, Washington is in. Ishan is not well, he’s got viral fever so he misses out,” said Rohit.

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BCCI’s official confirmation

The BCCI also officially confirmed Ishan’s unavailability through its official X (formerly Twitter) handle, stating, “Ishan Kishan was unavailable for selection for the 3rd ODI due to an illness.”

Rohit Sharma reveals the reason behind other exclusions

During a pre-match press conference, Rohit had also shed light on the reasons behind the unavailability of other key players as well as Shubman Gill, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, and Shardul Thakur were all not in consideration for the third ODI’s playing XI. Rohit clarified that Shubman was rested, while Shami, Pandya, and Shardul had returned home for personal reasons. Rohit further emphasized that there was a viral fever spreading within the team, adding an element of uncertainty to the side’s composition and that he was left with only 13 choices.

“(Shubman) Gill is rested, (Mohammed) Shami, Hardik (Pandya) Shardul (Thakur) have all gone home for personal things and Axar is not available for this game. We only have 13 players to choose from and there is a viral fever going on in the team, so there is a lot of uncertainty in the side at this point in time which we cannot help,” revealed Rohit

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