Former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar feels it doesn’t make sense to keep investing in KS Bharat. While the Indian wicket-keeper has impressed with his glovework behind the stumps, he hasn’t been able to deliver the goods with the bat.
Bharat has scored 92 runs in the first two Test matches against England at an average of 23. The right-hander has scored 221 runs in seven Test matches at an average of 20.09 in his short career so far.
Bharat scored a fine hundred against England Lions but he hasn’t been able to carry the same form. With Ishan Kishan making himself unavailable for selection and KL Rahul not keeping wickets, India is backing KS Bharat.
“It’s not like he’s playing his first series. He’s played before, he played all four Test matches against Australia and Rishabh Pant is due to come any time soon. So, I am not sure whether it is worthwhile and makes sense to keep investing in K.S. Bharat,” Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
Manjrekar added, “He’s also not 20-year-old and India had moved on from KS Bharat and gone to Ishan Kishan. So he’s done just enough to maybe just keep his place in the side. This team management believes in being fair to every individual, but I would personally look at another option before Rishabh Pant comes in and takes his place.”
Manjrekar noted that other teams are backing wicket-keepers, who are good with the bat. Rishabh Pant is currently recovering from multiple injuries he suffered in a horrific car accident but the left-hander is super consistent with the bat and he is expected to take his place once he fully recovers.
“India will start looking at K.S Bharat whether his keeping is that good. We can afford to have somebody who is not contributing as much with the bat. India of late and the world over, if you see, is going for keepers who are decently good wicket-keepers but contribute with the bat. I mean look at Rishabh Pant in the last 3-4 years, his contribution with the bat. So, those are things that India will have to look at,” Manjrekar concluded.
The third Test match between India and England will be played at Rajkot from 15th February onwards.