India were dealt with a severe blow when it was confirmed that their wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will not be available for the second ODI against Australia. He was hit on the helmet during the series opener in Mumbai and is suffering from a concussion since then. India have now called up KS Bharat as the back-up wicket-keeper just before the must-win game in Rajkot on Friday.
Earlier, the BCCI had decided not to name any replacement for Pant as he is expected to be fit for the third and final ODI of the series. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru where the last ODI is scheduled to be played on January 19.
However, Mumbai Mirror reported that the decision was taken late to call up KS Bharat into the squad. He was in Hyderabad when he was asked to rush to Rajkot even as KL Rahul is expected to take up the wicket-keeping job like he did in Mumbai. However, if he is injured or suffers a concussion, KS Bharat will be the like-for-like replacement for him.
Bharat’s wicket-keeping skills are well appreciated and even the selectors had no option but to pick him as other two keepers in Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan are currently in New Zealand with India A.
India look to level the series
Meanwhile, India will be keen to level the three-match ODI series against Australia in Rajkot. With KL Rahul set to don the gloves behind the wickets, it remains to be seen if Virat Kohli returns to number three slot to bat and let the former bat at four or five given that he will also be keeping for 50 overs.
The Men in Blue will also need a power hitter down the order now and they will miss Pant in this aspect. Kedar Jadhav is expected to replace him given his finishing skills while Shardul Thakur is likely to make way to Navdeep Saini. India weren’t able to pick a single wicket at the Wankhede as Australia had gunned down 256-run target with 10 wickets in hand.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- Before next series, we’ll need to spend a bit of time on Rishabh Pant: Pat Cummins
- Walking with the Indian flag at Gabba is a feeling I can’t express in words: Washington Sundar
- Brad Hogg suggests India to drop Sanju Samson or Shreyas Iyer to accommodate Rishabh Pant in ODI and T20I side
- ‘A century would have been good for his confidence’ – Shubman Gill’s father opens up on his son’s terrific knock at Brisbane
- Ravi Shastri delivers a special speech after historic series win in Australia; credits each and every member of team India contingent