IND vs SA: Ishan Kishan not available for India vs South Africa Test series, KS Bharat named replacement
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IND vs SA: Ishan Kishan not available for India vs South Africa Test series: Young wicketkeeper batter Ishan Kishan, on Sunday, withdrew from the upcoming two-game Test series between India and South Africa citing personal reasons. The development was confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Ishan Kishan, who was likely to assume wicketkeeper’s duties in the impending two IND vs SA test matches, has flown back home midway through the South Africa tour. The BCCI has named KS Bharat as the replacement for the outgoing glovesman.

In a statement released on Sunday, the BCCI confirmed that Ishan Kishan has been released from the Indian test squad.

“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 The wicket-keeper has subsequently been withdrawn from the Test squad.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,” BCCI said in a statement.

The development comes as a blessing in disguise for KS Bharat, who was overlooked by the Indian selectors in the test format after a few initial dull outings. Bharat was given a stretch of five test games, including the ICC WTC Final against Australia in 2023, however, the glovesman couldn’t iron out his place in the team comprehensively.

In five test appearances, KS Bharat could only score 129 runs at a poor average of 18.42.

After failing to prove his mettle, the Indian think tank switched to Ishan Kishan, who comes into the side with a bit of aggressive strokeplay. The southpaw featured in the two-game Test series against West Indies and scored 78 runs in three innings, which included a half-century.

It’s noteworthy that since Rishabh Pant’s unavailability, Team India hasn’t been able to find a worthy replacement who could match Rishabh’s potential and skillset. A couple of players have been put under the scanner, however, nothing substantial has come out so far.

IND vs SA: KL Rahul to play as Wicketkeeper Batter in Tests

IND vs SA: Ishan Kishan not available for India vs South Africa Test series, KS Bharat named replacement
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In the latest move, KL Rahul has decided to project himself as a wicketkeeper batter in the test format as well. Rahul assumed wicketkeeping duties for Team India in the World Cup 2023 and is expected to don gloves in the IND vs SA test series.

“I don’t know about all formats, right now my focus is on this ODI series,” 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.”

The IND vs SA test series begins with the boxing day test on December 26 at the SuperSport Park in Centurian. The two teams will then head to Newlands in Cape Town for the second assignment, starting on January 03.

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