IND v AUS 2023: “He’s a big miss,” Rohit opens up on Pant's absence; backs KS Bharat while explaining Kishan's selection

Rohit Sharma spoke about the challenges in Rishabh Pant's absence in the Australia series.

Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat | Getty Images

Indian captain Rohit Sharma admitted that the hosts are missing the pyrotechnics of wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Test Series against Australia at home.

Ahead of the fourth and final Test, starting on March 9 at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Rohit also opened up about whether Ishan Kishan would replace KS Bharat for the match, as the young cricketer was seen doing wicket-keeping drills at the training on Wednesday (March 8).

Rohit Sharma said on the eve of the Ahmedabad Test: “He’s a big miss … Honestly, when you are speaking about (Rishabh) Pant, we all know what he can do with the bat. Also, the keeping, last couple of years he has kept so well for us on turning wickets and all of that.”

He added, “When we knew that he (Pant) is not going to be available for us, that was one of the reasons we got Ishan (Kishan) in. He’s a left-hander, can play attacking (cricket).”

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However, the Indian skipper stressed that Bharat has a lot of experience and runs under his belt, and he will be getting the needed support from the team in terms of his place in the side.

Rohit stated: “Speaking about (KS) Bharat, he has spent a lot of time in domestic cricket, Ranji Trophy, India A, Zonals and he has scored a lot of runs. So, it will be slightly unfair to judge him on these kinds of wickets. Especially if someone is making their debut, you have got to give him enough room or innings for him to set himself up for a big score. That is important.”

Speaking about his pre-Test series chat with Bharat, the Indian skipper revealed: “It’s something I spoke to him before the start of the series as well. ‘Do not worry about what kind of pitches we will play, you will get enough time to prove yourself because these pitches are not easy’.”

He added, “If you want to play on pitches like that, you have got to be ready for guys failing in some of the innings as well. Then, you have got to back those guys, that’s what we are doing with KS. KS, like I said, he’s got lots of runs. Lots of experience in domestic cricket, good keeper.”

Rohit signed off by saying about his chat with Ishan Kishan: “I spoke to Ishan also. When he gets his chance, he will get a number of games. We will not drop him after playing just two. It will be unfair.”

(The Indian Express inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 08 Mar, 2023

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