'Not for Ishan. If it was...': Harbhajan names out-of-favour India star who could've replaced KS Bharat in WTC Final

Jun 02, 2023 12:12 PM IST

Harbhajan Singh spoke about the India star who could've replaced KS Bharat, and also namedropped KL Rahul, who is currently recovering from a hamstring injury.

Team India will return to action on June 7 when the side takes on Australia in the final of the World Test Championship. There have been a number of changes in the squad for the title clash owing to injury issues, with Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul being forced to miss the game. Among wicketkeepers, KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan have travelled with the side and there have been debates over who of the two should be taking the field in the final.

Virat Kohli (L) and Srikar Bharat(PTI)
Virat Kohli (L) and Srikar Bharat(PTI)

Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, however, had little doubts when he was asked the same during a conversation on Star Sports. While Harbhajan sided with Bharat, he added that his answer wouldn't have been the same if the BCCI had picked Wriddhiman Saha in the Test squad.

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“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.

Saha has been out-of-favour with the Indian Test team since February last year, when he was dropped for the home series against Sri Lanka. While Rishabh Pant had been the first-choice wicketkeeper-batter even before Saha lost his place in the side, the veteran India player was replaced by KS Bharat for the second-choice role.

Saha, however, has continued to produce strong performances in domestic cricket, as well as the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League. He formed a strong opening pair with Shubman Gill for the Gujarat Titans as the side reached its second-successive final this year. Saha scored 371 runs in the season in 17 matches.

India will be chasing their first ICC title in 10 years at the World Test Championship final. The side's last ICC title came under the leadership of MS Dhoni back in 2013 in the Champions Trophy.

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