Sunil Gavaskar Wants India to Pick Discarded Opener Over KS Bharat in WTC Final
KL Rahul was dropped from the Indian team after first two Test against Australia (AP Image)
KS Bharat made his Test debut in the recently concluded series against Australia but he failed to create any notable impact.
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar suggested India should pick KL Rahul in the playing XI for World Test Championship clash against Australia in June this year. Gavaskar feels that Rahul should replace wicketkeeper KS Bharat in the XI to strengthen their batting line-up. Bharat made his Test debut in the recently concluded series against Australia but he failed to create any notable impact. The wicketkeeper batter scored 101 runs in 6 innings at an average of 20.20. His wicketkeeping skills also came under the scanners as his glovework behind the stumps was not up to the mark.
India will miss the services of Rishabh Pant in the WTC Final as he is still recovering from the injuries he sustained during the horrific car accident last year.
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Gavaskar pointed out that Rahul has a good record on English soil including a Test century at the Lord’s on the last tour.
“You can see KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper. If he bats at No.5 or 6 in at the Oval (in the WTC final) then our batting will be stronger. Because he batted really well in England last year. He scored a century at the Lord’s. Keep KL Rahul in mind when you pick your XI for the WTC final,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
Rahul has scored 614 runs on English soil England at an average of 34.11 which includes two centuries.
Recently he lost his place in the XI after first two Test against Australia after his poor show with the bat in recent times.
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Gavaskar also talked about the shortcomings in Bharat’s wicketkeeping which veteran glovesman Dinesh Karthik pointed out during commentary in the Australia series.
“Dinesh Karthik summed up the problems with his wicketkeeping quite beautifully (during commentary). The real test of a wicketkeeper is on pitches like these where the ball is turning. If you look at Travis Head’s dismissal, when the ball turned and hit his stumps, KS Bharat’s gloves were nowhere near the ball. That means, if the ball hadn’t hit the stumps, it would have resulted in 4 byes. This is definitely a cause for concern. Whether they will select him in the XI or not is up to the selection committee but in England, you won’t get pitches where the keeper has to stand up to the stumps. In that case, you can pick KL Rahul as a wicketkeeper and even Ishan Kishan can be considered. Their batting is better than Bharat’s,” he added.
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