KS Bharat added to squad as back-up wicket-keeper


Wicket-keeper batsman KS Bharat has been included in India’s squad ahead of the second ODI against Australia in Rajkot as a back-up option. The decision to include him came in after it was confirmed that Rishabh Pant will not be available for the second ODI. The young wicket-keeper was hit on the helmet during the series opener in Mumbai and is suffering from a concussion since then.

KS_Bharat-joined-squad-as-back-up-keeper-2020Ahead of the must-win game for India, BCCI called up KS Bharat as the back-up wicket-keeper. However, no replacement for Pant has been named as he is expected to be fit and return for the third and the final ODI. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru where the last ODI is scheduled to be played on January 19.

The decision to include KS Bharat as a back-up option came in at the last moment and he was asked to rush to Rajkot from Hyderabad. KL Rahul is set to take up the gloves in the second ODI and in case he gets injured or suffers a concussion, KS Bharat will be the like-for-like replacement for him.ks-bharat-call-up-india-as-back-up-wicketkeeper

It was a no-brainer for the selectors to pick KS Bharat as the back-up option as the other two keepers Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan are currently in New Zealand with India A.

Meanwhile, it is a do or dies game for the men in blue to keep the series alive. They were completely outplayed by the visitors in the first ODI. After giving a target of 256 runs to chase, Australia chased it down with 10 wickets in hand courtesy of two breathtaking knocks from David Warner and Aaron Finch. Both remained unbeaten till the end and scored a hundred.

It is likely to come to a few changes for India in the second ODI. It will be interesting to see if Kohli continues to bat at number four despite all the criticism he faced after failing to perform in the first game. All-rounder Kedhar Jadhav is likely to replace the injured Pant while Shardul Thakur is likely to make way for the fast bowler Navdeep Saini.