Former India selector backs Bharat to be India’s wicket-keeping option for the Test series

Resuming their epic rivalry in the longest format of the game, India is set to host Australia in the upcoming series opener of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on February 9 (Thursday) at Nagpur. India’s star wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant was ruled out of the Test series as he is recovering from a major injury. Pant survived a dreadful car crash on December 30 and the injured player is expected to miss several marquee tournaments in 2023.

Weighing in on the wicket-keeper debate for the four-match Test series, former India selector MSK Prasad has extended his support to uncapped KS Bharat. Prasad said the team management must give a chance to Bharat, who has been groomed for the Test spot, especially keeping home conditions in mind. The former selector stated that the 29-year-old cricketer is a player who can keep wickets well on turning pitches and India has good spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja.

Prasad feels Ishan Kishan has to wait for his turn in the longest format. The young left-handed batter, who earned a surprise maiden call-up, does not have more exposure in Test matches. Prasad further added that Bharat always tries to contribute more with the bat and has done well overall in red-ball cricket.

Kishan, who can play counterattacking knocks, is more of a Pant replacement. But Bharat has been the second keeper in the Test team for almost three years and also has been a regular in India A games. Bharat is yet to debut for India across formats, while Ishan has played 13 ODIs and 27 T20Is for the Asian giants.