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WTC 2021-23 Final, Australia vs India: Kishan’s batting skills give him an edge over KS Bharat

WTC 2021-23 Final, Australia vs India: Ishan Kishan’s batting skills give him an edge over KS Bharat. Ishan Kishan or KS Bharat, who will play in WTC 2021-23 Final.

WTC 2023 Final_ KS Bharat or Ishan Kishan, who will get a chance in the WTC Final_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Ishan Kishan had a good IPL 2023 (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

With the second edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final between Australia and India set to get underway at The Oval on June 7, there are one or more spots in the playing XI that are yet to be finalised from India’s point of view.

India will miss Rishabh Pant

Rohit Sharma’s men will be badly missing the services of their talismanic wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant. He was arguably India’s best Test batter before he was injured and made great improvements as a keeper. But with him not available for a lengthy period of time, India have to look for other options and the top contenders for this position now are KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan.

While Bharat has made his Test debut in the series against Australia at home earlier this year, Kishan is yet to make his debut at the Test level though he has been a constant feature in India’s limited-overs playing XI over the past year.

Now there is a clear dilemma in the Indian team management on who among the duo will be best suited for the keeper batter position in the all-important WTC Final against Australia.

 WTC 2023 Final: KS Bharat or Ishan Kishan, who will get a chance in the WTC Final | Walking wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
KS Bharat represent India in BGT 2022-23 (Images: ©BCCITwitter)
Pros and cons of having KS Bharat in the side

There are things which work in each one’s favour going into the finale. KS Bharat is easily the better keeper among the two and England is a very challenging place for a keeper especially in swinging conditions. One could expect a lot of edges coming their way and a slip here or there will cost the team a lot. So, Bharat is a safe bet behind the stumps in the mould of former keeper Wriddhiman Saha, though still not as reliable as him.

And if India do go into the match with a three pacer and two spinner combination like the inaugural WTC Final, then India will most likely go with Bharat the as India’s spinners contribute to a great extent with the bat. But on the flip side, Bharat doesn’t exude the same confidence with the bat as yet and he struggled to get going with the bat in the only series he played against Australia earlier this year. He managed to score only 101 runs in 4 Tests and his overall first-class average with the bat is 37.27 as opposed to Kishan’s 38.76 in whites. KS Bharat is also short of game time as he didn’t play a single game in the IPL which might go against him.

What works for Ishan Kishan

In Kishan’s case, his ability to play attacking shots has put him in contention for a spot in the playing XI despite him not having featured in a Test match as yet. He does possess a game similar to that of Rishabh Pant and if India look for a batter in the middle order to take the attack to the opposition, then Kishan is the man to go for.

Also, if India go into the match playing with 4 pacers, then Kishan’s presence will only bolster India’s lower order that looks like a long tail. Kishan has had game time as he had a successful season with the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023 where he scored 454 runs at a strike rate of over 142 and has enough international exposure. He has slammed a double century in ODIs for India and his highest first-class score is 273 which shows he has the penchant to play long innings and play time as and when required.

It does look like that the team management is yet to decide on the same as Rohit Sharma, the India skipper said in a recent pre match conference that the team is still undecided on who will take up the keeper’s role in the all-important final game.

The WTC Final between India and Australia will be played between June 7-11 at The Oval in London.


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