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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Dravid’s Evaluation of Keeper Falls Short of Expectations, Reflecting on Bharat’s Bat

IndiaDravid's Evaluation of Keeper Falls Short of Expectations, Reflecting on Bharat's Bat

Ahead of the second India-England Test, posters adorned the roads leading to the ACA-VDCA Stadium, welcoming local hero and pride of Andhra, KS Bharat. A giant poster featuring Bharat adorned one of the stands at the stadium, extending wishes for his maiden Test appearance at home.

The first two Tests against England presented a significant opportunity for KS Bharat to solidify his place in the squad, with Rishabh Pant recovering and Ishan Kishan sidelined due to injury. With uncapped Dhruv Jurel as the other keeper-batter in the squad, Bharat became the automatic choice in the XI based on his seniority.

However, is his place secure after the recently concluded Test?

Bharat managed a decent job with the wicketkeeping gloves, but his batting performance leaves much to be desired. While he showcased promise last month for India ‘A’ with scores of 64 and an unbeaten 116 against England Lions, Bharat’s performance in the series opener in Hyderabad was underwhelming, with scores of 41 and 28.

Head coach Rahul Dravid’s comments hinted at disappointment with Bharat’s batting efforts. “Young players take time to develop… Bharat’s keeping has been good, but with his batting, he could have done better,” Dravid remarked after India’s series-levelling win.

Despite ordinary shots in both innings of the second Test, some experts suggest Bharat’s relative newness to international cricket warrants giving him another chance. Former India wicketkeepers Kiran More and Syed Kirmani emphasized the importance of providing Bharat with opportunities to establish himself, considering his recent entry into the international arena.

With the third Test in Rajkot looming on February 15, Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma have time to address the keeper dilemma and make informed decisions regarding Bharat’s role in the team.

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