Former cricketer Saba Karim reckons that Ishan Kishan is unlikely to get the nod over KS Bharat for the keeper-batter's role in India's playing XI for the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC 2023) final against Australia.
He pointed out how Team India backed Bharat during the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series earlier this year. He suggested that the Indian think tank might not consider Kishan at this stage, and could once again go with Bharat.
Karim claimed that Kishan may have been in contention had he played the home series against Australia. The cricketer-turned-commentator opined that India wouldn't want to take a risk in such an important fixture.
Speaking to The Times of India, he said:
"I don't think at this stage they will want to play Ishan Kishan. I think they will persist with KS Bharat since he has kept wickets for India in the home series. The kind of security Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma want to give the players, I think they will continue with Bharat.
"If they had played Ishan Kishan in the home series, I think he could have a chance. But since they haven't done that, I don't think they will take the chance in a crucial game like this and play him straightaway."
Notably, Kishan was a part of India's squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy but didn't get to feature in a single game. Bharat was under the scanner for his poor form in the four-match series as he finished with 101 runs across six innings at an average of 20.20.
"Will be a good choice for red-ball cricket in the future" - Saba Karim on Ishan Kishan
Saba Karim further stated that Ishan Kishan will benefit a lot by being a part of India's squad for the WTC 2023 final. He mentioned that the young keeper should make the most of this opportunity by learning from his teammates.
He highlighted that the southpaw has been impressive in red-ball domestic matches and could be considered a future option in India's Test team, elaborating:
"I think this will be a great learning experience for him. He should absorb as much as he can from seeing his teammates and the opponents and also from the interactions. Test cricket is a different ball game and there's so much to learn even if you're not part of the playing XI.
"His time will come and though he's looked at mainly as a white-ball cricketer now, I think he's played well in Ranji Trophy for some time now and will be a good choice for red-ball cricket in the future."
The WTC 2023 final between India and Australia begins on June 7 at The Oval.