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Ishan Kishan Withdraws From South Africa Test Series; KS Bharat Named Replacement
By CricShots - Dec 17, 2023 6:08 pm
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India’s wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan has withdrawn from the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa due to personal reasons, leading to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) naming KS Bharat as his replacement. The announcement comes shortly after the exclusion of fast bowler Mohammed Shami due to an ankle injury.

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan 

In a statement, the BCCI noted, “Ishan Kishan has requested the BCCI to be released from the upcoming Test series against South Africa citing personal reasons. The wicket-keeper has subsequently been withdrawn from the Test squad. The men’s selection committee has named KS Bharat as a replacement.”

Bharat, who is currently leading India ‘A’ in South Africa, had previously served as the first-choice wicketkeeper when Rishabh Pant was unavailable due to a car accident in December 2022. Despite a stretch of five consecutive Test matches, including the World Test Championship final, Bharat couldn’t secure a fifty, leading to Kishan taking over. The 25-year-old debuted in the West Indies series, where he played a key role, scoring an unbeaten 52 in the second Test.

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With Kishan out, KL Rahul will assume the wicketkeeping responsibilities in the Boxing Day Test, marking his first time donning the keeping gloves in Test cricket. Rahul, addressing speculation about his evolving role, expressed his focus on the upcoming ODI series and confirmed his intent to continue as a wicketkeeper-middle-order batter.

 

“I don’t know about all formats, right now my focus is on this ODI series,” KL Rahul said on Saturday. “Yes, I’ll be doing the same role. I’ll be wicketkeeping and batting in the middle order. After that, yes, I would be happy to take up that role even in the Test matches.

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India is set to play two Tests against South Africa, with the first match scheduled for December 26–30 at SuperSport Park in Centurion and the second from January 3–7, 2024, at Newlands. The team faces adjustments in key positions ahead of the series to maintain its competitive edge.

India’s Test Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat (wk).