'Don't forget he has over 5000 first-class runs': Ex-Indian cricketer on Pant's replacement for Australia Tests
Rishabh Pant is unlikely to play any part in the Test series against Australia due to the injuries he suffered in the car crash. India have picked wicketkeeper-batters in Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat but Suryakumar Yadav might be the one ideal to replace Pant the batter.
More than his rather improved wicketkeeping abilities, Rishabh Pant the batter will be missed more when India will take on Australia in the much-anticipated Border-Gavaskar series starting next month. Pant's attacking brand of cricket in the longest format has been a standout feature in India's recent Test wins, especially on overseas venues. Rohit Sharma hence will need either of Ishan Kishan or KS Bharat to step up in that department, both of whom have been slotted into the squad as wicketkeeper-batters. But former Indian cricketer Sridharan Sharath had a rather unexpected reply on Pant's replacement for the Australia Test series, reminding fans and experts of his abilities in first-class cricket.
The debate so has been between Ishan and Bharat so far on who would replace Pant. Bharat has been part of the set-up as a back-up option to Pant since Wriddhiman Saha fell out of reckoning. Ishan, on the other hand, has been picked based on his aggressive style of batting and his left-handed abilities, implying a possibility for a like-for-like replacement for Pant. Both are yet to make their Test debut for India although Ishan has played for India in white-ball format while Bharat had only substituted for a while as a wicketkeeper during one of India matches where Saha had incurred a neck injury.
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However, Sharath snubbed both Ishan and Bharat to name Suryakumar Yadav as the perfect replacement for Pant, the batter.
“Suryakumar Yadav too can take the game quickly away from the opposition. He has different shots to unsettle an attack. Don’t forget he has over 5000 first-class runs," he told Sportstar.
Like Bharat and Ishan, Suryakumar is yet to make his debut in Test cricket. In domestic level, he has played 132 innings in first-class cricket, scoring 5549 runs with 14 tons and 28 fifties. He however made his return to Ranji Trophy for the first time in three years last December, scoring an 80-ball 90 for Mumbai.
Talking about the upcoming talents from domestic level, Sharath said, “Sarfaraz, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Rajat Patidar, Mukesh Kumar, Kuldeep Sen and Saurabh Kumar are very promising. They combine talent with numbers.”