1st Test: Why is KS Bharat keeping wicket for India on Day 3 against New Zealand in place of Wriddhiman Saha?

  • KS Bharat, who is the other wicketkeeper in India’s Test squad, donned the gloves in place of Wriddhiman Saha when play resumed on Day 3 of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur.
KS Bharat donned the wicketkeeping gloves for India for the first time in Tests. (BCCI)
KS Bharat donned the wicketkeeping gloves for India for the first time in Tests. (BCCI)
Updated on Nov 27, 2021 10:35 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

As the Indian team walked out to field against New Zealand on Day 3 of the first Test in Kanpur on Saturday, there was a fresh face behind the stumps. KS Bharat, who is the other wicketkeeper in India’s Test squad, donned the gloves in place of Wriddhiman Saha. Bharat was recently in action for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2021, where he played a sensational knock of 78 not out against Delhi Capitals.

Saha, 37, batted for India in the first innings on Friday, scoring 1 off 12 balls before nicking Tim Southee to keeper Tom Blundell for one of the NZ quick’s five wickets. He fielded for 55 overs on Day 2 but did not turn up in the morning session on Day 3. Shortly after the camera showed Bharat keeping wicket for India, the BCCI provided an update as to why Saha is not on the field.

Also Read | India vs New Zealand Live Score, 1st Test, Day 3

"Wriddhiman Saha has stiffness in his neck. The BCCI medical team is treating him and monitoring his progress. KS Bharat will be keeping wickets in his absence," the BCCI tweeted on Friday.

Bharat was in action straightaway as he took a sharp catch off the bowling of R Ashwin to dismiss Will Young. Young missed out on his maiden Test century by 11 runs as Bharat completed a nice and low catch and although the umpire initially gave it not out, India struck with their review with the Ultra Edge showing a spike as the ball passed the bat. Besides, Bharat has been exceptional behind the stumps in the morning session, collecting ball that have stayed low.

Also Read | ‘There is an unwritten rule in this Indian team’: Laxman on Iyer's place in 2nd Test Playing XI vs NZ after Kanpur ton

Bharat has a decent First-Class record scoring 4283 runs from 78 matches at an average of 37.24 with nine centuries and 23 fifties. Bharat, 28, has taken 270 catches and affected 31 stumpings. He most recently played for Andhra in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy scoring 131 runs from five games including scores of 70 against Jammu and Kashmir and 48 against Jharkhand. 

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Saturday, May 28, 2022