When Ishan Kishan scored his double-century knock in Chattogram against Bangladesh last month, he and his booming 131-ball 210 were the buzzes of global cricket. The legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar even went so far as to acknowledge that with that style of hitting, a 300 in ODIs is very possible while also endorsing the kid for it. Ishan, though, has had trouble playing white-ball cricket since then. Ishan has only achieved 93 runs in 120 balls with five single-digit scores in his eight outings for India after that magnificent innings, five in T20Is and three in ODIs.

Ishan may have support for the last T20I encounter against New Zealand on Wednesday at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, but his continuing struggles in the white-ball format have been closely watched by his rivals, whether they are now a part of the Indian team or not.

Nitish Rana, a left-handed top-order hitter, and occasional off-spinner are one of those rivals. Rana received a call-up for India’s tour of Sri Lanka after a strong 2021 IPL season in which he amassed 383 runs and two half-centuries. On the trip, he played his first ODI and T20I. Before being dropped from the team and never being called back, he played one ODI match and two T20Is, hitting seven runs in each game. But as he waits for his chance, he brought attention to Ishan’s difficulties in T20I cricket by liking a Twitter article about it.

According to the article, the Mumbai Indians star has only scored 199 runs at an average of 15.30 and a strike rate of 106.41 since June of last year. It has no half-centuries and five single-digit scores.

Regarding Rana, he said in an interview with Sportstar in October of last year that he had been considering a return. As the Sri Lanka series didn’t go well for me, making an India return was always in the back of Rana’s mind. “I am ready whenever the opportunity comes,” Rana had stated.