Vizag cricketer KS Bharat has been making a name for himself in the fourteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the wicketkeeper-batsman has been notching up some consistent performances batting at no. 3. He made his RCB debut on 20 September 2021, in the game against Kolkata Knight Riders where he scored 16 runs off 19 balls. After that, he has gone from strength to strength, making crucial contributions with the bat.
While he didn’t bat in the match against Chennai Super Kings, he did get a chance to bat in the next game, against Mumbai Indians on 26 September 2021, making a score of 32 runs from 24 deliveries. His contribution was important in RCB getting to a competitive total and then, defending it. In the next game against Rajasthan Royals (RR) this Wednesday, RCB were chasing a target of 150 for the win. KS Bharat played a fine knock of 44 runs from 35 balls which ensured that RCB easily chased down the target. His partnership with Glenn Maxwell was critical in sealing the deal. With the wicketkeeping gloves, he took a catch and effected a stumping in the game.
Hailing from Vizag, KS Bharat is very classical as a batsman. His game relies largely on rotating the strike and building partnerships. His strength lies in batting against spinners, where he is comfortable in using his feet or sweeping to hit the big shot. That is why KS Bharat has emerged as the solution to RCB’s number 3 problem. His performances have received praise from his RCB peers like Glenn Maxwell, who termed him “a genuine top-order batter”.
Coming in at that position, KS Bharat’s job is clear-cut: to build partnerships with the other batsmen and ensure that RCB doesn’t suffer any batting collapses. With the bat, he also provides a cushion to Maxwell and de Villiers who can let loose in the end overs. It’s a formula that has worked very well for RCB in the UAE leg of the IPL. But that’s not all. He has been selected in the playing XI to relieve AB de Villiers of wicketkeeping duties and allowed him to focus on his batting.
With years of consistent domestic performances, this Vizag cricketer has been on the fringe of the Indian team for a while. But as a wicketkeeper-batsman, it has been difficult for him to get a chance. With some significant contributions in this IPL, KS Bharat would be hoping to make a case for an India debut this year.