'A lot of insights...': India's wicketkeeping contender reveals MS Dhoni's valuable advice ahead of WTC final
Among the big decisions for India in the WTC final against Australia is who takes the wicketkeeping gloves in the absence of Rishabh Pant.
India will sorely miss the services of Rishabh Pant in the middle order when they face Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final starting on Wednesday. Apart from being one of the most consistent batters in Test cricket in recent years, Pant had also developed into a reliable wicketkeeper and India now have a decision to make with regard to who takes the gloves during the decisive one-off Test at The Oval.
KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan are the two options that they have. While Kishan is yet to play a Test for India, Bharat proved his prowess as a gloveman in their series at home against Australia earlier this year. At the same time, though, his batting returns left much to be desired as he managed a top score of just 44 throughout the four-match series. Bharat, however, has been working on some valuable advice with regard to wicketkeeping in England that he received from MS Dhoni.
Bharat said that he had a conversation with the former India captain during the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL). Bharat was part of the Gujarat Titans, although he never got a game throughout the season, and thus part of the squad that finished second best to Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings in the final. “He (talked about) his experiences keeping in England as well as what would work the best for any wicket-keeper,” said Bharat on ICC.
“It was a very good conversation and there were a lot of insights from that. It’s the awareness – the best example is MS Dhoni, the awareness he has in keeping is outstanding," Bharat added. Dhoni played 12 Tests in England over the course of his illustrious international career.
“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,” said Bharat.