Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar was not happy with wicketkeeper-batter KS Bharat’s performance with the bat in the first two Tests against England. The veteran believes that the right-handed batter has failed to deliver after being named as a replacement for Ishan Kishan during the Test series against South Africa as well. However, Manjrekar urged the selectors to look for other players who can contribute with the bat as well.
On Thursday, Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo: “It’s a lot like he’s playing his first series. 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 KS Bharat. He’s also not 20 years old and India had moved on from KS 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.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator added: “India will start looking at KS 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 decent 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.”
However, KS Bharat scored just 101 runs in four matches against Australia during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with a highest score of 44 as well. He had managed scores of five and 23 in the World Test Championship final as well. Sanjay Manjrekar further said that Shreyas Iyer has put his place in danger by failing to do well in the first two games against England. He added that Gill outshone Iyer with a timely century to keep his place in the team as well.
“Something that he’s got to accept (spot in danger) because it was really a toss-up between Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer. Unfortunately, Shreyas Iyer got out in the shot that he played, but I just loved the approach. So, that’s gives me some confidence. The difference being Shubman Gill didn’t take that many risks to get out. That might just play against Shreyas Iyer,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.