Former India wicketkeeper wants KS Bharat to keep wickets in England Tests
The Indian team is all set to lock horns against The Three Lions in an extensive five-match Test series starting from January 25. Interestingly, India opted for three wicketkeepers in the squad for the first couple of Tests - KL Rahul, KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel. During the recent South Africa tour, KL Rahul was bestowed with the wicketkeeping responsibility but now that it's back home, there is a consideration of using a specialist keeper who can handle turning pitches.
This is where KS Bharat becomes a strong option for the selectors to consider. Despite not having any significant impact with the bat in the five Tests he featured in, Bharat's extensive experience as a wicketkeeper in 82 first-class games in India reinforces his candidacy for the wicketkeeper’s role in the upcoming Hyderabad Test. He also slammed an impressive unbeaten 116 against England Lions in the initial four-day match for India 'A' at Ahmedabad.
Why KS Bharat's selection make sense?
Echoing on the same lines, former India wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra opined, "Bharat has been in the scheme of things in Test cricket for a long time, but he got chances on and off. Keeping wise, he’s very good and has a very neat collection of the ball. In whatever Tests he’s played for India so far, he’s kept well in turning conditions.”
The significance of the wicketkeeper's batting performance in India’s playing eleven has grown, especially with Virat Kohli opting out of the first two Tests for personal reasons.
The former India player added, "The wicketkeeper batting at number six, seven and eight becomes very important, especially when it comes to facing the second new ball. It then becomes a phase from where he can take the game anywhere via a knock of 50-60 runs or play long and get a century."