Former selector backs Bharat over Kishan

Former India selector Sarandeep Singh says picking K S Bharat over Ishan Kishan as the wicketkeeper for the World Test Championship final against Australia is a no-brainer and he would also choose Umesh Yadav over Shardul Thakur in the playing eleven. In the absence of the injured Rishabh Pant, Kishan, who is yet to play Test cricket, can provide the X-factor but Sarandeep feels Bharat walks into the eleven as the frontline wicketkeeper. “KS Bharat for sure. He is a proper Test match wicketkeeper and we saw that against Australia at home, he kept superbly. He has been around for a while and he should get the opportunity,” Sarandeep said on Wednesday. The WTC final will be played at the Oval in London from June 7. The former India spinner said Kishan’s time will come. “Ishan is an opener. I am not saying he is not capable of playing Tests. He is one for the future but he opens in limited overs cricket. Things will be different at number six. “Yes he goes hard from ball one, which can be counter-productive in England, but Bharat can also bat well and play shots also,” he reasoned. ‘Umesh’s extra pace will come in handy’ Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, who were breathing fire in the recently-concluded IPL, will share the workload in the pace department and the Indian team will need to choose between Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur as the third fast bowling option. “I am picking Umesh ahead of Shardul because he has that extra pace and he can reverse the old ball, he can be very helpful on that Oval track,” said Sarandeep.