KS Bharat joins India squad as standby wicketkeeper

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Rishabh Pant was hit on the helmet by a Pat Cummins delivery. © BCCI

India have called up Andhra keeper-batsman KS Bharat as a standby ahead of the second ODI against Australia in Rajkot. The 26-year-old stumper won’t play in the game but will serve as backup to KL Rahul, who will don the gloves.

Bharat’s eleventh-hour call-up was necessitated after first-choice keeper Rishabh Pant sustained a mild concussion during India’s loss in Mumbai. Pant was struck on the helmet during his dismissal in the opening one-dayer. In the 44th over of India’s innings at the Wankhede Stadium, a Pat Cummins short delivery ricocheted off Pant’s bat, struck him on the helmet and ballooned to point for a simple take.

The 23-year-old took no further part in the game – with KL Rahul donning the gloves in the second innings – and was taken to the hospital for “overnight monitoring”. However, the scans reported nothing major and the wicketkeeper-bat was subsequently discharged.

However, in line with the concussion protocols, Pant was ruled out of the second game of the series and instead travelled to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for his rehabilitation as per ICC’s concussion guidelines. He is likely to be cleared to participate in the final game of the series, to be played in Bengaluru on Sunday (January 19).

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