Fri, 29 Sep 2023

London [UK], June 5 (ANI): Indian wicketkeeper-batter KS Bharat revealed on Monday that he received wicketkeeping advice from legendary MS Dhoni during the recently-concluded Indian Premier League and said that his awareness about wicketkeeping is outstanding.

Ahead of India's ICC World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval from June 7 onwards, the Indian wicket-keeper told the ICC that he received some advice from none other than Indian icon MS Dhoni ahead of the match against Australia at The Oval, with MS taking time out from captaining Chennai Super Kings for the IPL championship to chat with Bharat.

"Recently during the IPL, I had a word with Mahendra. He (talked about) his experiences keeping in England as well as what would work the best for any wicket-keeper. It was a very good conversation and there were a lot of insights from that," said Bharat.

Receiving instruction from Dhoni was especially significant because Bharat cited the veteran when asked what makes a successful wicket-keeper.

"It is the awareness - the best example is MS Dhoni, the awareness he has in keeping is outstanding. You need intent and passion to be a keeper, because keeping is a thankless job. You keep 90 overs in a Test day and you have to be concentrating ball by ball, so you have to accept the challenges and embrace it and be really passionate about contributing to the team."Bharat's inclusion in the XI is one of the key decisions confronting India ahead of the opening day of action on Wednesday. The 29-year-old has only played four Tests for India, all against Australia earlier this year in India after filling in for the injured Rishabh Pant. Bharat's glove work earned him a position in the team, but his batting performance in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series was poor, with a maximum score of 44 in six innings.

India may go ahead with the aggressive left-hander Ishan Kishan for the one-off Test.

Kishan is India's alternative wicket-keeper option, and he arrived in England after a successful IPL season in which he scored 454 runs in 16 innings for Mumbai Indians with three fifties. But he is yet to make it to the Test playing XI, having scored 2,985 runs in 48 first-class matches at an average of 38.76 and six centuries and 16 fifties. On the other hand, in 90 FC matches, Bharat has 4,808 runs at an average of 37.27, with nine centuries and 27 fifties.

Australia ended at the top of the WTC table with 11 wins, three losses, and five draws in 19 matches whereas India ended in second position with 10 wins, five losses and three draws.

India's squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (wk).

Suryakumar Yadav, Mukesh Kumar and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been named as stand-by players for the high-stakes match.

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David WarnerStandby players: Mitch Marsh, and Matthew Renshaw. (ANI)

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