Harbhajan Singh takes U-turn on Team India's playing XI decision for WTC final: 'Don't have confidence...'

Jun 05, 2023 09:17 AM IST

India received a major boost ahead of the clash as pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the contest.

Rohit Sharma-led Team India will look to end the ICC trophy drought when they lock horns with Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) finals, which starts from June 7. India's bitter-rivals Australia suffered a setback ahead of the clash as pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the contest. Michael Neser has been roped in as his replacement.

Shardul Thakur during practice(Reuters)
Shardul Thakur during practice(Reuters)

While this is the news from the Australian camp, the Indian team has so far stayed far from injuries. The team until Saturday was training in Arundel, and have now shifted their preparation at The Oval, the venue for the final.

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Also Read | 'Ishan similar to Pant': India spinner's bold statement on Kishan vs KS Bharat debate ahead of IND vs AUS WTC final

However, there has been a wide debate over the choice of wicketkeeper and the two players in the fray are Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat. Both Ishan and Bharat are raw in India's red-ball setup and it has made the choice even more difficult.

Bharat, however, has four appearances under his name, but Ishan, who most consider a better batter than the former, is yet to make his debut for India in the longer format.

Sharing his views on the same, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh feels India should hand Ishan a debut and called him a “direct replacement for Rishabh Pant.” Harbhajan passed the verdict in a video shared on his YouTube channel.

Also Read | ‘Virat always tries to be the man…’: Aussie all-rounder remains unfazed with Kohli threat in WTC final

"Why Ishan Kishan should be considered ahead of Bharat?

"I think this will add more strength to batting as Ishan Kishan can tackle the new ball much better than Bharat. He is an opener too and is in good form. So if the second new ball is introduced after 80 overs and Ishan walks out to bat he can play as an opener.

“Rishabh Pant is an explosive batter and Ishan also has the same quality. Although Bharat is superb behind the wickets, I don't have much confidence in Bharat's batting,” said Harbhajan.

However, Harbhajan's statement comes days after he had backed Bharat in the playing XI. “No, I don't think so. KS Bharat has been playing for India now. If it were Wriddhiman Saha, then I would say yes, play him. He has more experience and he's a better keeper. If KL Rahul was fit, I would've played him over KS Bharat as well,” Harbhajan said during a conversation on Star Sports.

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