Following India's series victory over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the former Indian cricketer and ex-national selector provided his opinion on the selection controversy involving wicketkeeper-batters KS Bharat and KL Rahul.
Team India under Rohit Sharma advanced to the championship match of the showpiece for the second consecutive year despite being without the services of superstars Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant in the latter stages of their ICC World Test Championship campaign.
While the absence of Bumrah allowed Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Uadav to support experienced pacer Mohammed Shami, Pant was replaced by KS Bharat, who remained India's first choice behind the stumps for the duration of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
In the first game of the series in the Border-Gavsakar Trophy versus Australia, Andhra star Bharat played his first Test. It's interesting to note that during the fourth Test match between India and Australia, the 29-year-old wicketkeeper was criticised on-air by former India head coach Ravi Shastri and renowned batsman Sunil Gavaskar for missing a simple catch.
In the just finished Test series, Bharat too had a hard time establishing himself as a batter. His subpar batting displays may have opened the door for an out-of-sorts KL Rahul to play for India in the World Test Championship final.
Rahul, who has yet to demonstrate his value as a wicketkeeper-batter in Test cricket, should replace Bharat. Saba Karim, a former national selector, believes the Indian team should give the Andhra star a longer rope.
Former Indian cricketer Karim offered his opinion on the selection controversy involving wicketkeeper-batters Bharat and Rahul during a special session hosted by JioCinema.
"Eventually, that is up to the team management. But I feel the way the Indian team management in the recent past has dealt with youngsters, they have offered them a lot of security. They have created a conducive environment for them to grow. And they have not been very harsh in terms of performances, because they believe that they have invested heavily in a youngster, who has come to this stage and made a debut in a Test match,"
India will play Australia in the ICC World Test Championship final at The Oval, and wicketkeeper-batsman Rahul will have a remote chance of being selected for the starting lineup. Ishan Kishan is anticipated to serve as India's backup wicketkeeper for the World Test Championship final in the absence of superstar Pant.
Rahul, the Indian opener, lost his position as vice captain after the star batter continued his slump during the Test series against Australia.
The 30-year-old only participated in the series' first two Test games. Bharat, the wicketkeeper, only scored 101 runs against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, averaging 20.20 in four games.
"I do expect the Indian management to give more chances to KS Bharat. The conditions are extremely challenging, it is not easy for a young wicketkeeper to do well in these conditions. And in some of the Test matches he has been quite good behind the stumps. There are always areas of improvement for Bharat. But the way I look at it, if one has spent so much time in the growth of a young cricketer if you have prepared him through different kinds of challenges, whether it is from first-class cricket to India A, then I think it makes sense to give him some more opportunities, to kind of secure him into the side,"
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