Ravi Shastri opens up on India’s keeper dilemma for WTC final


India and Australia are set to square off in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, which will be played at the Oval in London from June 7. With KL Rahul ruled out owing to injury, the wicketkeeper slot is a toss-up between KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan. Ravi Shastri has opined on the quandary and said that there is not much that separates Bharat and Kishan.

Bharat earned his India Test debut at the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and was retained in the squad for the WTC final. Notably, he has been a backup for Team India after the departure of Wriddhiman Saha. Kishan, on the other hand, received his first Test call-up ahead of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. But, he did not get a chance to play, since Bharat played all four matches.

While speaking on the latest edition of the ICC Review, Shastri said that Bharat was given a chance against Australia and believes that the Andhra-born keeper is the obvious pick for the WTC final. He also stated that India could consider selecting Kishan as he can shore up the middle order with his batting.

“See, that’s another tight one (decision). Now, if two spinners are playing, then you would want Bharat to play. You have to see who’s a better keeper. Is it Bharat or Ishan Kishan? Now, the fact that Bharat was given a run against Australia, where he played all the Test matches, I think he would be the obvious choice to go with,” Shastri said.

Ravi Shastri’s predicted XI for the World Test Championship final included two spinners, with the 60-year-old nominating KS Bharat as the wicketkeeper. Notably, Bharat has scored 101 runs in six innings and has been influential with his abilities behind the wickets on even rank turners.

“There’s not much there. It’s not that one guy is far better than the other. Batting will also come into play, whether you want Ishan Kishan’s batting to shore up the middle order. That’s another thing you’ll take into perspective. Are you going to go with four fast bowlers? Then there’s not much spin and you just need someone decent behind the stumps to do the job,” he added.