KS Bharat was very close to making it into the team for West Indies tour, says MSK Prasad
Bharat was considered as a back-up in the Test side for Rishabh Pant.
Updated - Nov 27, 2019 9:16 pm
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Sunday, announced all the three squads for the upcoming tour of the West Indies. Team India is scheduled to face the Caribbean side in 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 2 Test matches on the tour that begins on August 3 with the first T20I match in Florida, USA. Virat Kohli will lead the team in all the three formats
The squad saw the return of wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha into the Test scene after being out of contention for over a year. Saha, who last played in the five-day format against South Africa in 2018 and then played in the IPL, further injuring himself and was required to undergo surgery overseas. This gave Rishabh Pant a chance to cement himself in the Test format with a century each against England and Australia.
KS Bharat narrowly missed the berth in the Test team
BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad announced the squads and while doing so, revealed that the committee had given a serious thought of bringing in Andhra Pradesh’s keeper KS Bharat in the Test team, as a backup to Rishabh Pant. In his last 11 appearances for India A, Bharat has scored 686 runs with three centuries and two half-centuries held 41 catches and effected six stumpings.
“In the longer format, it was KS Bharat who was very close to being selected. It is a norm that when a senior or established player makes a comeback from injury, he is given a chance in the team. So that’s how we have given a comeback opportunity to Wriddhiman Saha. But, I can tell with the stellar performances that KS Bharat has been doing in India A – he has scored three centuries and taken almost 50 dismissals – he was very close to making the cut,” Prasad said in the press conference.
Bharat was phenomenal for India A, scoring centuries against Australia A (106 at Alur), England Lions (142 at Wayanad) and Sri Lanka A (117 at Hubli). Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, and Umesh Yadav retained their spots in the Test squad. Navdeep Saini earned his maiden call-up in the limited-overs team, while cousins Deepak and Rahul Chahar were added in the T20I squad.