Andhra Pradesh wicketkeeper KS Bharat has been called in as a backup option in the India ODI squad ahead of the second ODI against Australia due to the injury to Rishabh Pant. Bharat, 26, has played 74 first-class matches and scored 4143 runs at an average of 37.66 with 9 hundreds and 22 half-centuries.
Pant was ruled out of the second match of the 3-ODI series after being hit on the helmet by a Pat Cummins bouncer in the series opener at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday. He suffered a concussion as a result of the blow and couldn’t keep wickets for India as a result.
KL Rahul donned the gloves in that game which India ultimately lost by 10 wickets to go down 0-1 in the series. Rahul is expected to keep wickets in the second game as well with Bharat as his cover.
This is the second time Bharat has been called in as cover in the national team after the Day-night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata last year. Bharat was added to the squad as cover for regular wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. Pant was initially a part of the Test squad but was released to play in the Ranji Trophy before the second Test.
Pant was sent to the hospital for scans after adding 28 runs to India’s total of 255-all out in the Mumbai ODI. Australia easily chased down the target in 37.4 overs with David Warner and Aaron Finch hitting unbeaten hundreds.
“He (Pant) is ruled out of the 2nd ODI. His availability for the final ODI will be based on how he responds during the rehabilitation protocol,” the BCCI said in a statement after the game.