He needs to contribute with the bat: Sanjay Manjrekar urges selectors to look beyond Bharat

February 8, 2024
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Sanjay Manjrekar has raised concerns over the batting performances of wicketkeeper K S Bharat in the first two Tests

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has raised concerns over the batting performances of wicketkeeper K S Bharat in the first two Tests against England and urged selectors to look beyond him. In the first two matches, Bharat scored 102 runs with the highest score of 41 runs.

Manjrekar expressed disappointment with Bharat’s inability to make significant batting contributions despite being given opportunities in the Test arena. Bharat, who replaced Ishan Kishan during the Test series against South Africa, has failed to capitalize on his chances, prompting Manjrekar to urge the Indian selectors to consider alternatives.

“It’s a lot like he’s playing his first series,” said Manjrekar to ESPNcricinfo. “He’s played before, he played all four Test matches against Australia and Rishabh Pant is due to come any time soon. So, I am not sure whether it is worthwhile and makes sense to keep investing in K S Bharat.

“He’s also not 20-year-old and India had moved on from K S Bharat and gone to Ishan Kishan. So he’s done just enough to maybe just keep his place in the side. This team management believes in being fair to every individual, but I would personally look at another option before Rishabh Pant comes in and takes his place,” he added.

The former India batter pointed out Bharat’s modest batting record, citing his underwhelming performances during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy where he scored 101 runs registering a top score of 44. His performance in the World Test Championship final saw him scoring five and 23 runs respectively.

With Pant’s imminent return to the team, Manjrekar emphasized the importance of selecting keepers who can make valuable contributions with the bat.

“India will start looking at K S Bharat whether his keeping is that good. We can afford to have somebody who is not contributing as much with the bat. India of late and the world over, if you see, is going for keepers who are decently good keepers but contribute with the bat. I mean look at Rishabh Pant in the last 3-4 years, his contribution with the bat. So, those are things that India will have to look at,” Manjrekar concluded.

–IANS/hs/bsk/

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