Former India selector MSK Prasad has picked KS Bharat as the first-choice wicketkeeper-batter for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which starts in Nagpur on February 9.
The veteran wants the Andhra player to make his Test debut since he has been groomed as a specialist India A wicketkeeper in red-ball cricket.
Speaking to The Telegraph, MSK Prasad said:
“Bharat had been groomed and earmarked as India’s Test keeper since the time he played for India A. He tried to do his best in those matches and has done well overall in red-ball cricket. He has been waiting for his turn and it appears he’ll be getting it in the upcoming Test."
The former India cricketer added that Ishan Kishan might have to wait for his Test debut.
“As for Ishan, he needs to wait,” he said.
Prasad also feels vice-captain KL Rahul would not be the right choice for the wicketkeeper’s role in Test cricket. He stated:
“One requires a different mindset altogether to be a wicketkeeper in Test matches. It’s not just about doing it for some 20 or 50 overs. You may have to stand behind the stumps for an entire day or more. I think such a situation may arise only if Bharat fails to make use of his opportunities. They can then think of other options"
So far, Bharat has scored 4707 runs in 86 FC games, including nine centuries and 27 half-centuries.
“KS Bharat is the one who should play” – Saba Karim
Former India selector Saba Karim also feels KS Bharat should be the first-choice wicketkeeper in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
He told The Telegraph:
“Logically, KS Bharat is the one who should play.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator, however, reckons Ishan Kishan could be a like-to-like replacement for the injured Rishabh Pant owing to his attacking game.
But Ishan, too, is capable with the bat and has also done a decent job behind the stumps. So if he impresses in the training sessions leading up to the first Test, there’s no harm if the team wants to try him out as Pant’s like-for-like replacement.”
So far, Kishan has played 48 FC matches, scoring 2985 runs, which includes six centuries and 16 fifties.
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