'Ishan Kishan needs to wait' - MSK Prasad picks KS Bharat as India's first-choice wicketkeeper for Border Gavaskar Trophy
Regular wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is out of action due to injuries suffered in a horrific road accident.
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Former India chief selector MSK Prasad has preferred KS Bharat over Ishan Kishan as his first-choice wicketkeeper for the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia starting from February 9. Prasad believes that Bharat has been groomed to be a specialist wicketkeeper in red-ball cricket for India A and should make his debut in whites for India.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has been left with the options of Bharat and Ishan as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant had been through a major car accident in December 2022, and now is on a road to recovery after successful surgery. Therefore, India needs to finalize the spot ahead of their major assignment.
"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 coming Test. As for Ishan, he needs to wait," MSK Prasad told The Telegraph.
The wicketkeeping batter from Andhra Pradesh has appeared in 86 first-class games, scoring 4707 runs at an average of 37.95 with nine hundred and 27 half-centuries. Meanwhile, the second wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan grabbed everyone’s attention by scoring 210 runs off 131 balls in the third ODI against Bangladesh in December 2022. However, he hasn’t been able to do something remarkable since then.
"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," MSK further added.
India and Australia will be locking horns from the first Test in Nagpur. While the remaining three Tests will be hosted by Dehli, Dharamshala, and Ahmedabad. After the Tests, both teams will play three-match ODI series starting on March 17.