With the match being played in London, the Indian team management will need to take a call on their bowling attack as well as wicketkeeping option with KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan set to battle for the spot.
Bharat and Kishan are in the squad as India’s first-choice wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant is recovering from a horrific car crash and his back-up KL Rahul is recuperating from a surgery on his right thigh.
Ahead of the contest for Test supremacy, the wicketkeeper’s place in the side is one big selection dilemma being faced by the Rohit Sharma-led India in WTC Final 2023.
Bharat has played just four Tests – all against Australia recently at home during the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 earlier this year. Kishan, on the other hand, is yet to make his Test debut and has 48 first-class appearances.
Going by experience, Bharat has the edge over Kishan, but neither wicketkeeper has kept in English conditions, which are known to be challenging for even the most experienced wicketkeepers.
Though he has performed admirably behind the stumps, Bharat showing with the bat has been dismal – he had a top score of 44 in six innings. However, Bharat’s domestic experience of 90 first-class games could tilt the scale in his favour.
Kihsan, however, has had more success with the bat than Bharat, having scored an ODI double-century against Bangladesh in Chattogram late last year. Plus, he scored 454 runs for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023.
The left-handed batter also brings variety in an otherwise right-hand dominant batting line-up. Kishan has also been likened to Pant with his aggressive approach when batting, which will be dearly missed by the Indian team.
KS Bharat vs Ishan Kishan First Class Batting Record
|Stat||Bharat FC Record||Kishan FC Record|
While there is so much debate about the wicketkeeping slot, the experts have made their picks and all of them have different suggestions based on the conditions and the rest of the team selection.
Former Australia captains Ricky Ponting and Aaron Finch have backed Kishan to get the nod, while former India coach Ravi Shastri said Bharat should be picked if two spinners play and if it’s just the one spinner Kishan should get the nod.
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