India suffered a major setback when Rishabh Pant met with an accident on 30 December. The wicketkeeper batter rammed his car into the divider of the Delhi-Dehradun highway and injured himself badly. Pant suffered several injuries including a ligament tear in his right knee. This meant that the cricketer will not be able to play any cricket for at least six months.
Meanwhile, the Indian Test team is all set to host Australia for a four-match Test series under the Border Gavaskar Trophy. The series is really important for India considering their qualification chances for the World Test Championship Final in June this year. If the Men in Blue are to play in that final, they need to beat Australia by at least a 3-1 margin. But not having Rishabh Pant had severely dented their chances.
Although India have enough bench strength, none can replicate what Pant has done so far, especially in the red-ball setup. Nevertheless, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is ready for the challenge as they have identified a like-for-like replacement for Pant. As the Indian cricket board named the squad for the first two Tests against Australia, the selectors included two wicketkeeping options, KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan.
While Bharat has been in the scheme of things in Test cricket for a while, Kishan got his maiden call-up. And as per a video dropped on the BCCI Twitter handle, Kishan might play ahead of Bharat in the Test series against Australia. The wicketkeeper batter from Jharkhand has got decent numbers in FC cricket. The southpaw averages around 39 in 82 FC innings. Kishan also recently slammed a ton in Ranji Trophy (against Kerala).
In the video shared by BCCI, Kishan was asked about his maiden Test call-up and also how is he going to approach the longest format. To which Kishan replied that he will look to play according to the situation.
"I bat No.6 in red-ball cricket for my state. It is an important batting position as one needs to be able to read situations well. I will be letting my team down if I play a rash shot without reading the situation. However, I have enough experience (in red-ball cricket) to know and understand the importance of putting my team in a strong position,” said Kishan.