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Bharat joins team as Saha cover; Pant discharged

November 23, 2019 08:04 IST

Srikar Bharat

IMAGE: Kona Srikar Bharat has scored 3,909 runs in 69 first class games, including eight hundreds and a triple hundred. Photograph: ICC/Twitter

India’s selection committee has decided to discharge Rishabh Pant so that he can get match time in domestic cricket ahead of next month’s limited-overs series against the West Indies.

 

Andhra wicketkeeper-batsman Kona Srikar Bharat will join the Indian team as Wriddhiman Saha's cover for the remaining days of the second and final Test against Bangladesh.

"Rishabh will be playing all the six matches (3 T20s and 3 ODIs) against the West Indies. The selectors thought it's only prudent that he goes and plays in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Delhi," a senior BCCI source revealed on Friday.

Bharat, a regular feature for India A in red ball matches, finally got some consolation for his consistent performances during last two seasons. He has scored 3,909 runs in 69 first class games with eight hundreds and 20 half centuries, which includes a triple hundred.

"I played the first pink ball match in  Lucknow when it was introduced in the Duleep Trophy in 2015," Bharat said, as he was on his way to the airport from his Visakhapatnam residence.

He said that he was called and asked to join the team by 8.30 am Saturday morning.

"I got a call and asked to join the team I'm reaching at 8.30 tomorrow morning. I am looking forward to share the dressing room with my idol Viratbhai," said Bharat, who will at the maximum get a couple of days with the match poised to end inside three days."

An ICC rule that came into effect in 2017 says a substitute ‘keeper can take the place of the first team glovesman if he sustains an on- field injury.

Saha is doing perfectly fine and Bharat's inclusion is merely a precautionary measure.

"Wriddhiman is one of the best wicketkeepers of the current era. I'm hoping to learn a lot from him. Too excited," Bharat added.

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