Vizag-based wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat, on Friday, joined the India cricket team for the ongoing ODI series against Australia as a cover for Rishabh Pant, who was injured in the first ODI in Mumbai.
The Vizag cricketer has been roped into the squad with both Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan currently serving the India A side in New Zealand. While KS Bharat will not be playing the game in Rajkot on Friday, he will be serving as a backup for KL Rahul, who will be donning the wicketkeeper gloves. It may be noted that Rishabh Pant was hit on the helmet while batting at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday and was ruled out of the second ODI in line with the concussion protocols.
In 2019, when India took on Bangladesh in its maiden Day-Night test at Kolkata, Bharat was drafted into the squad as a backup for the regular wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha. Before that, he played for India Blue in the 2018-19 Duleep Trophy. Bharat has scored 9 centuries in his first-class career so far and 3 List-A hundreds. The 26-year-old rose to fame when he became the first wicket-keeper batsman to score a triple hundred in Ranji Trophy while representing Andhra Pradesh in 2015.
India were thrashed by Australia in the first ODI. The visitors, thanks to the superlative efforts of Aaron Finch and David Warner, mauled the hosts by 10 wickets to go one up in the three-match series. Taking the field on Friday in a do-or-die clash, the Men in Blue, after losing the toss, will be batting first yet again.