Veteran wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik has picked K.S. Bharat as his choice for India’s wicketkeeper ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final against Australia at The Oval from June 7-11, citing the edge he has with his extensive experience of keeping wickets in first-class cricket.
Bharat was the wicketkeeper for India in this ye’r’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy series with Rishabh Pant still recovering from injuries suffered in a serious car accident last year. Bharat got mixed results with bat and gloves as India won the series 2-1 to enter their second straight WTC final.
Apart from him, left-handed wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan is there, drafted only after K.L. Rahul was ruled out due to a right thigh injury. “I think Bharat will be a pretty straightforward choice because playing Ishan Kishan in his debut and a Test match straight in the World Test Championship Final is asking a bit too much.”
“And the fact that Bharat probably tips the scale in favour of himself just a little bit with this keeping edge that he has got. So I do think they will go in with KS Bharat for the final,” Karthik was quoted as saying by ICC.
Bharat had been a member of India A squad on a tour of England in 2018, though he was mostly the second keeper to Pant. Kishan, on the other hand, warmed the bench during the four-match Test series against Australia. Bharat has featured in 90 first-class matches, as compared t’ Kishan’s 48 appearances in the format.
But former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes the choice of wicketkeeper depends on the conditions at The Oval.
“See, that’s another tight one (decision). Now, if two spinners are playing, then you would want Bharat to play. You have to see who’s a better keeper. Is it Bharat or Ishan Kishan? Now, the fact that Bharat was given a run against Australia, where he played all the Test matches, I think he would be the obvious choice to go with.”
“There’s not much there. It’s not that one guy is far better than the other. Batting will also come into play, whether you want Ishan Kishan’s batting to shore up the middle order. That’s another thing you’ll take into perspective.”
“Are you going to go with four fast bowlers? Then there’s not much spin and you just need someone decent behind the stumps to do the job. So that you would leave to team management. Just before the game, they would weigh in just these little things that I’ve just said, and obviously look at current form,” he concluded.