Bharat has kept wickets for India in the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. He played a good cameo in Delhi in the second innings, coming into bat at No. 6 after India were set to chase 115.
While he is only two Tests old at the international level, the Andhra Pradesh keeper is highly experienced on the domestic circuit. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the match, Bharat shared his views on batting in India. He said, “The intent is never a problem, shot selection is critical on these tracks. Runs will come here if shot selection is right. Trusting defence is key.”
On being promoted in the batting order in the second innings in Delhi, Bharat added, “Rohit bhai told me that I will bat at no 6 in Delhi 2nd innings. The moment Australia were all out, I was ready to bat and contribute.”
“I enjoyed playing whatever I did in Delhi. It was about keeping it simple and backing your defence. Wickets are not unplayable, just have to back your defence,” Bharat continued.
During the press conference, the keeper was also asked whether Shubman Gill would replace KL Rahul for the third Test in Indore. The cricketer replied, “It’s the team management’s call, not mine.”
While he is still new to international cricket, Indian captain Rohit Sharma has entrusted him with the responsibility of sharing his views on DRS calls. Bharat revealed about the talk in the team, “Rohit bhai and myself had a word. He said, ‘you are the best judge, as you stay close to the batsman. So whatever you feel, just give your opinion.
“You, me and the bowler - the three of us will discuss, and we will take a call’. He said, ‘don’t worry about whether it is going to go our way or their way. Just back your instinct - whatever you feel, just put it across’. So the message is clear,” he continued.
On keeping to class Indian spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, Bharat opined, “They are top-class spinners. It’s not easy to keep to them but, all this while, playing in domestic, keeping for 10-12 years, you are prepared to keep to the best spinners. Every ball, you have to keep balance, think the ball is coming your way.”
The third Test between India and Australia begins in Indore on March 1.
--By A Cricket Correspondent