Young Andhra Pradesh wicket-keeper batsman KS Bharat has been called up as cover for Rishabh Pant for the remaining two ODIs against Australia. Rishabh Pant was ruled out from the 2nd ODI at Rajkot with a concussion. Pant had suffered a blow on his helmet while batting in the first ODI against Australia. He was unable to keep wickets in that match and KL Rahul had to don the gloves.
The BCCI, initially had refrained from naming a replacement for the concussed Pant but according to reports, Bharat has been asked to rush to Rajkot as Pant’s cover. Bharat was in Hyderabad when he was asked to join the Indian side.
Rahul is once again supposed to keep wickets for India in the 2nd ODI at Rajkot on Friday but if get injured or suffers a concussion like Pant then Bharat can be a like-for-like replacement.
Pant is currently at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and the Indian team management is keeping their fingers crossed for Pant to recover on time for the third ODI in the same city on Sunday. However, chances for the same, look slim. “Pant has been discharged from the hospital and will head to NCA, Bengaluru to undergo his rehabilitation protocol. He is ruled out of the 2nd ODI. His availability for the final ODI will be based on how he responds during the rehabilitation protocol,” said BCCI in a release.
Who is KS Bharat
This is not the first time Bharat has been called up as cover in the Indian side. He was called as Wriddhiman Saha’s cover in the Day/Night Test against Bangladesh last year as Pant was released to play Ranji Trophy.
Bharat averages 28.14 in the 51 List A games he has played so far. The 26-year-old has 1351 runs to his name and is considered to be very good keeper and a top-order batsman. Bharat’s first-class record is far more impressive. An India A regular in the last couple of years, Bharat has 4143 runs in 74 first-class matches at a pretty good average of 37.66.
Meanwhile, Sanju Samson was not drafted into the side as he is in New Zealand, playing for India A.
Series on the line
India will be taking on Australia in the 2nd ODI at Rajkot with the series on the line. The Virat Kohli-led side had suffered a humiliating 10-wicket loss in the first ODI in Mumbai.