Srikar Bharat, India’s second wicketkeeper-batter has donned the keeping gloves for India on the ongoing Day 3 of the first Test against New Zealand. Bharat was seen substituting for Wriddhiman Saha, who did not take the gloves due to neck stiffness. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) posted a Tweet confirming Saha’s unavailability.
“Wriddhiman Saha has stiffness in his neck. The BCCI medical team is treating him and monitoring his progress. KS Bharat will be keeping wickets in his absence,” read a tweet from the BCCI on Saturday. It is not clear when will Saha return to take the gloves.
The wicketkeeper-batter batted in the first innings and scored just one run off 12 balls. He failed to get going when India needed some runs lower down the order. Later, he did wicketkeeping for 55 overs on Day two but looked completely fine.
Meanwhile, Bharat was also selected for the India tour of England but didn’t get an opportunity to make his debut. He is the third wicketkeeper in the queue after Rishabh Pant and Wridhhiman Saha. Pant has been rested from the two-match Test series and Saha is playing as a first choice wicketkeeper, with Bharat as a backup.
The Andhra Pradesh wicketkeeper-batter has a huge amount of experience in first-class cricket. The 28-year-old has scored 4283 runs in 78 matches. If Saha is declared unavailable for the second Test match, then Bharat will make his Test debut. Meanwhile, an update on Saha’s neck condition will be provided by the BCCI soon.