K.S. Bharath aiming for Test squad spot in Australia tour

Andhra's wicketkeeper-batsman K.S. Bharath is hoping for a spot in the Indian Test team for the upcoming tour of Australia.

"I am getting ready for any call if any IPL franchisee seeks replacement in case of any emergency," Bharath said about his chances of playing in the IPL.   -  Special Arrangement

He got a feel of what it means to be in the Indian dressing room when he was called up as a cover for the injured Rishabh Pant against Australia in the ODI series this January.

Now, 26-year-old K. Srikar Bharat is gunning for a slot on the forthcoming Australian tour on the back of consistent performances.

“Thanks to Andhra Cricket Association, there was no break in my training as I have been training at the Test match centre here with all support and following all the safety guidelines,” he said in a chat with Sportstar.

 “I am preparing to face the challenges which will come my way at the highest competitive level. My job is to do well on the field for any team and in any format of the game,” he said.

“Not thinking or worrying about the selection but always preparing like there is an opportunity coming my way and by doing this I’m very happy and enjoying this great game,” said Bharat.

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“Honestly, I am getting ready for any call if any IPL franchisee seeks replacement in case of any emergency. But, the bigger goal is to make it to the Test squad for the forthcoming Australian tour,” he explained.

 “I am working a lot on my step-out game against the spinners. Now, I feel more confident in this aspect even as I do believe that I have the range of strokes against pacers,” he explains. “Fitness too was top priority for the captain Virat Kohli himself set a great example in this,” he added.

Valuable advice

"The kind of moral support I got from Rohit Bhayya (captain Rohit Sharma) really lifted my morale," Bharath said about his experience playing for the national team.   -  Special Arrangement


“There is a lot of maturity and understanding of my game, how I should respond to the team’s needs in a given situation. Thanks to Dravid sir’s advice - it all boils down to how well you play and react to the challenges,” he says recalling NCA coach Rahul Dravid’s tips.

“Thanks to the all-round support, I have enjoyed playing in any slot in the middle-order either for the Andhra Ranji team or for the India-A teams. I am ready to bat at any position,” he said.

“Playing against a full-strength South African team in the three-day game at Vizianagaram last season, which happened to be my first such game, gave me a lot of confidence. And, the kind of moral support I got from Rohit Bhayya (captain Rohit Sharma) really lifted my morale,” he says.

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“The fact that I am on the radar of national selectors was further strengthened when I was there with the Indian team for the pink ball Test against Bangladesh. In fact, one of the priceless moments was when I was asked to hold aloft the trophy too by Virat Bhayya (captain Virat Kohli),” says the soft-spoken Bharat.

“Well, given the pandemic scare, I am not sure about any domestic competition before we embark on the Australian tour. Ideally, it would be great for any cricketer to have that. But, again, I am backing myself based on the consistency including playing for India-A on the last New Zealand tour this February” he signed off.

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