The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have named Andhra keeper-batsman KS Bharat as a standby for the second ODI against Australia in Rajkot. The 26-year-old stumper won’t play in the game but will serve as a backup to KL Rahul, who will don the keeping gloves.
Bharat’s eleventh-hour call-up was necessitated after first-choice keeper Rishabh Pant sustained a concussion during India’s loss in Mumbai. In the 44th over of India’s innings at the Wankhede Stadium, a Pat Cummins bouncer ricocheted off Pant’s bat, struck him on the helmet and ballooned to point for a simple take.
Rahul donned the gloves in the second innings as Pant was taken to the hospital for ‘overnight monitoring.’ However, the scans reported nothing major, and the Delhi-lad was subsequently discharged.
Many fans would point a finger to argue that young stalwarts like Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan should’ve been given an opportunity to prove their mettle in the Rajkot ODI. However, both the youngsters are currently part of the India A side in New Zealand. On the other hand, KS Bharat’s Andhra side has no Ranji matches in the upcoming round, which starts on Sunday.
“With Sanju Samson & Ishan Kishan being a part of the India A side in New Zealand, the selection committee decided to name KS Bharat as backup wicket-keeper,” the BCCI statement read.
“The call was taken after Rishabh Pant flew to Bengaluru to undergo his rehabilitation protocol in the National Cricket Academy.
“His recovery is being monitored, and a call on his availability for the final ODI in Bengaluru will be taken accordingly,” the statement added.