Dubai: Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that KS Bharat (India vs Australia) will be considered for the role of wicketkeeper in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC Final) to be held in England next month against Australia. KS Bharat) would be the ‘obvious choice’ of the team management. India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is recovering from a car accident and his replacement Lokesh Rahul also underwent surgery on his right thigh.
The Indian team management is in a dilemma as to whom to pick between Bharat and Ishan Kishan for the WTC final starting June 7 at The Oval. Shastri said that Bharat kept wicket during the Border-Gavaskar series earlier this year, so he is hopeful that the management will prefer the 29-year-old over Ishan.
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Shastri said in ‘ICC Review’, “You have to see who is the better wicketkeeper.” Is it Bharat or Ishan Kishan? Now the fact that Bharat was given a chance against Australia where he played all the Test matches, I think he would be an obvious choice to be picked in the playing XI.”
Bharat performed well as wicketkeeper but did not perform as expected with the bat. He was able to score only 101 runs on spin friendly pitches. Kishan, on the other hand, did not get a chance against Australia and was included in the Indian squad for the WTC after Rahul was injured during the IPL. Shastri indicated that the venue conditions of the WTC final would decide which wicket-keeper ultimately gets to play.
Shastri said, “Look, this is another tough (decision). Now if two spinners are playing, you would want Bharat to play. Though Bharat has played only four Tests, his home experience of 90 first-class matches in the longest format gives him the upper hand. Ishan, on the other hand, is yet to make his Test debut and has played 48 first-class matches. Ishan has achieved more with the bat than Bharat.
He scored an ODI double century against Bangladesh in Chittagong late last year. India and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s experienced wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik feels that Bharath’s experience should make him an automatic choice for the WTC final. Karthik said, “I think Bharat will be an easy choice with Ishan Kishan making his debut and going straight into the World Test Championship final will be more than expected.”
“And the fact is that KS Bharat probably has the upper hand because he is the better wicketkeeper. So I think he will go with KS Bharath for the final.” (agency)