They say that when it is a matter of Test cricket, always go for an experienced keeper because a part-time gloveman is not the right fit for 90 overs of cricket in a day. Hence, India opted to hand over the debut to KS Bharat who has previously kept stumps in place of an injured Wriddhiman Saha and was in line for a debut before the Indian management changed their minds in the dying embers.
However, Bharat was absolutely phenomenal at the end of the day’s play as he went onto impact a stunning stumping removing Marnus Labuschagne and also played an instrumental role in the dismissal of Usman Khawaja. However, there is a small catch that you need to spot.
Ideally, Khawaja was removed by Siraj when his leg was caught before the stumps with the cherry conjuring its own magic. However, the umpire chose not to give it out, considering the fact that the ball may have been drifting down the leg-stump. It was in the second over of the game and usually in these cases, the fielding side refuses to go for a referral considering the length of the game remaining.
However, India was sure that if Khwaja remains at the crease, he can lead to some serious danger and that would mean the hosts would have to toil harder than ever. After some intense deliberations with the clock showing a second remaining for going upstairs, India chose to go for it. Surprisingly, Siraj was spot on and Khwaja had to depart. But the point is how did Siraj take such a big decision and who was the man who played a pivotal role in it.
Dinesh Karthik, opened up on this entire scenario and picked the man who pulled the strings of madness for Khwaja. According to the Finisher Supreme of RCB, it was KS Bharat who spotted the drift perfectly.
Talking on air, Karthik said, “They say a Test cap will always be well-earned. And he has really earned his stripes. Played for Andhra for a long time – And one of the few guys who has played a lot of India A games as well. Was there for about 5 years. And here it comes – in the first five minutes of his keeping, in his debut – a big call to be taken, everybody excited. Goes straight to Rohit Sharma to have a conversation with him. And that’s the interesting part – as a keeper, you need to have clarity, you need to be sure, you need to tell the captain what exactly you have seen. In as few words as possible so he has enough time to take that decision.”
Answering his colleague in the commentary box, DK added, “Did it pitch in line? Do you reckon it will go over the stumps or do you think it will hit the stumps? And then you gotta come up with the reply, I generally say, ‘it looks very close and I have a feeling the worst part of it could be an umpire’s call’ and that’s the best way to say so that you don’t lose the review. And I think that would have been the line of conversation that KS Bharat would have had (with Rohit).”