Nayan Mongia's staggering verdict once and for all settles KS Bharat vs Ishan Kishan debate ahead of WTC final

Jun 03, 2023 07:48 AM IST

The rise of Kishan as a limited-overs batter earned him a maiden India Test call-up in the BGT against Australia, although he had to sit out due to Bharat.

As we approach the World Test Championship final between India and Australia starting at The Oval next Wednesday, the Ishan Kishan vs KS Bharat debate continues to gain steam. With KL Rahul out indefinitely, the competition between Kishan and Bharat as India's specialist wicketkeeper for the WTC final has grown. Bharat was part of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia not too long ago, but his returns were far from impressive – 101 runs from 4 Tests at an average of 20. He looked susceptible against the spin of Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy and against the brand-new red ball. Having said that, despite cracks in his batting, Bharat is considered one of the best keepers in the country, which gives him the edge of Kishan – who is yet to play Test cricket for India.

Ishan Kishan (L) or KS Bharat (R): Who will get the nod?(Getty Images)
Ishan Kishan (L) or KS Bharat (R): Who will get the nod?(Getty Images)

In such a scenario, former India wicketkeeper Nayan Mongia has weighed in on the Kishan vs Bharat debate, and has given his vote of confidence to the latter. Mongia reckons India need a specialist keeper in England where the Dukes ball swings and does a lot more.

Also Read: Australia coach Vettori claims India may drop star bowler for WTC Final

'Bharat has done nothing wrong', feels Mongia

Having kept wicket in England himself, Mongia feels sticking with Bharat is the right call than subjecting Kishan to the testing English conditions straightaway.

"I would play Bharat as a specialist keeper in England because he has done well. One bad match doesn’t make him a bad keeper. He is a specialised keeper; he has been doing well over a period of time. Whatever limited chances he has gotten in the Indian team, he has done reasonably well to retain his place," Mongia said on Star Sports.

Keeping wicket in England not the easiest task: Mongia

The rise of Kishan as a limited-overs batter earned him a maiden India Test call-up in the BGT against Australia in February, although he had to sit out due to Bharat getting precedence. Both have earlier played in England as part of India A tours but the inkling is that Kishan against the moving ball isn't the greatest of ideas as the 23-year-old batter had a few gaps in his technique despite smashing the fastest ever ODI double-century. Mongia sided with this theory and explained the challenges that come with keeping wicket in England.

"Conditions in England… it is one of the most difficult places to keep wicket. The ball wobbles a lot, dips a lot especially in the first half. You need to get up with the ball, have to watch all 90 overs. We are going to play Test cricket with the Dukes ball. It’s a little harder compared to the Kookaburra. The seam is upright, so the ball swings a lot. I know how hard it is because we played the World Cup and it really thumps your palm and it really hits your gloves. It's an added advantage for bowlers since the ball remains hard for a longer time," he pointed out.

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