Last Updated: January 29, 2023, 10:18 AM IST
Will KS Bharat get the preference? (AFP Photo)
Aakash Chopra feels KS Bharat is better equipped to be India’s wicket-keeper as opposed to Ishan Kishan for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia
With the horific accident to Rishabh Pant on December 30, the question about India’s wicket-keeper for the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia has irked many fans and experts. Former India opener Aakash Chopra weighed in on the debate, saying that he would prefer KS Bharat over Ishan Kishan as the wicketkeeper-batter for the upcoming four-match Test series.
Chopra reasoned that Bharat, as a wicketkeeper on Indian pitches, is better equipped to handle the bowling of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as well as left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
“It is really unfortunate that Rishabh Pant isn’t available for us (India) at the moment. He is the kind of player who can play in all formats and is an excellent one too. What I feel is that we will see various players across the different formats. I would say KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan, both are in contention for Test cricket.”
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Bharat has been for long served as Pant’s backup in the Test squad and has a first-class average of 47.95. He had taken over the reins during India’s first Test match against New Zealand in Kanpur in November 2022 when Wriddhiman Saha was unable to take the gloves due to a stiff neck.
Ishan, on the other hand, received his first call-up to the Test squad and has been India’s man behind the stumps in one-day cricket. He averages 38.76 in first-class cricket.
“If you need a better keeper then KS Bharat but if you need an explosive left-hand batter because we don’t have a lefty in the top order, then I would say we can say, Ishan Kishan. Personally, my preference will be KS Bharat because he can keep the scoreboard ticking in Tests and we need someone who is going to be able to handle Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja’s bowling behind the wicket,” Aakash Chopra said on JioCinema’s sports show ‘Aakashvani’.
When talking about his choice of keepers for India in white-ball cricket, Aakash Chopra said: “In T20s, It’s going to be a toss-up between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson and ODIs will obviously feature KL Rahul behind the wicket, there is no question about it.”
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