KS Bharat included in India’s squad for WTC final as a cover for Wriddhiman Saha
The decision has been made as BCCI isn’t sure about Saha’s physical fitness and they don’t want to take a risk as it's a three-month-long tour.
Updated - May 20, 2021 9:32 am
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that the India tour of England is conducted smoothly without any roadblocks. Team India is scheduled to lock horns against New Zealand in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) from June 18 to June 22. After the final, India will face England for a five-match Test series starting from August 4.
In the latest development, it has been learned that wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat has been roped in as a cover for veteran Wriddhiman Saha for the WTC final and England tour. Thus, Bharat will be joining the Indian team in Mumbai and will fly to England on June 2 after completing a mandatory quarantine.
Notably, the decision has been made as BCCI isn’t sure about Saha’s physical fitness and they don’t want to take a risk as it’s a three-month-long tour. Notably, Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for the novel coronavirus on May 4, hours before the BCCI decided to postpone the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League for an indefinite time period.
If Wriddhiman Saha wasn’t fit, we would have needed a second keeper: BCCI source
Saha is a part of the 20-member Indian squad for the WTC final and Test series against England and will serve as the second-choice wicketkeeper after Rishabh Pant. Though Saha has recovered well in time to join the Indian team bio-bubble in Mumbai, he might take time to regain his 100% fitness since his body is healing from COVID-19.
The selection committee did not take any chances and they decided to add Bharat to the group with an eye on the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. “He was added as cover for Saha considering he was still recovering from the virus and wicket-keeping is a specialized job. If Saha wasn’t fit in time, we would have needed a second keeper in the squad for the tour which is a three-month-long one,” the source said as quoted by Times of India.
India’s Squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance)