Former India National Cricket Team opening batsman Aakash Chopra feels that both Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat are in contention for a place in the playing XI for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 is set to be played in February-March in India. The series will be the last 4-Test series between the world-class sides as from the next ICC World Test Championship cycle India and Australia will play a 5-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.
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India will be without the star wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant in the marquee series against Australia. Notably, Pant has been ruled out of cricket for an indefinite period of time after his horrific car accident last month.
Pant’s absence is a huge blow to India as he has been the standout performer for the side in the purest format of the game for quite some time. India have added two wicket-keepers to the squad for the Australia Test series – KS Bharat, who has traveled with India in the past as Pant’s understudy, and Ishan Kishan.
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The cricketer-turned-commentator Chopra feels that Pant being unavailable for selection is really unfortunate.
“It is really unfortunate that Rishabh Pant isn’t available for us at the moment. He is the kind of player who can play in all formats and is an excellent one too. What I feel is that we will see various players across the different formats. I would say, KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan, both are in contention for Test cricket,” he said on JioCinema.
Personally, my preference will be KS Bharat – Aakash Chopra
Chopra believes that Kishan should be picked over Bharat only if the team management feels the need of having an explosive left-handed batter otherwise Bharat is a superior gloveman. He added that he personally wants Bharat to feature in the playing XI in Test cricket in Pant’s absence.
“If you need a better keeper then KS Bharat but if you need an explosive left-hand batter because we don’t have a lefty in the top order, then I would say we can say, Ishan Kishan. Personally, my preference will be KS Bharat because he can keep the scoreboard ticking in Tests and we need someone who is going to be able to handle Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja’s bowling behind the wicket,” Chopra said.
The 45-year-old further said that there will be a toss-up between wicket-keepers Kishan and Sanju Samson for a place in T20I playing XI. In ODIs, he feels KL Rahul is undoubtedly the first-choice keeper.
“In T20s, It’s going to be a toss-up between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson and ODIs will obviously feature KL Rahul behind the wicket, there is no question about it,” he added.
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