India call up KS Bharat for rest of ODI series against Australia

Bharat acting as cover for Pant

Cricket Fans India

The uncapped KS Bharat has been added to India‘s squad for the remainder of this month's ODI series against Australia.

Bharat has joined the squad as cover for the injured Rishabh Pant.

Pant was ruled out of Friday's second ODI due to a concussion sustained in the series opener earlier this week. He was hit on the helmet by a short delivery from fast bowler Pat Cummins. India are priced at 1.80 to win the second with Bet365.

Bharat was not selected for the second ODI. Stopgap wicketkeeper KL Rahul retained the role in Pant's absence. Bharat might debut in the third ODI on Sunday.

Australia won the first ODI by 10 wickets on the back of a double-century partnership between openers David Warner and Aaron Finch.

The 27-year-old Bharat has been capped at first-class level 74 times. He has also collected 51 List A and 43 T20 appearances.

Bharat, Dhoni and more

He is the latest in a long line of wicketkeepers to join India's ODI squad in the absence of the veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni has not played ODI cricket since the 2019 World Cup – and was recently excluded from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's list of centrally-contracted players.

“In these circumstances, it would actually have been controversial if Dhoni had indeed been given a contract, which is based on players' performance in the last year and the role they are expected to play in the coming year,” said BCCI chairman of selectors MSK Prasad.

India head coach Ravi Shastri had recently insisted Dhoni is still in contention for a berth in the squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. Dhoni will play for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. According to Shastri, the veteran right-hander will have to gather a solid stretch of form in the IPL to be considered for the 2020 T20 World Cup.

“A good IPL, and Dhoni puts himself into contention for the T20 World Cup. Then it is the selectors' job to see what they want to do, but if he has a great IPL then he puts himself into contention,” India head coach Ravi Shastri told CNN-News18 earlier this month.

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