Telugu Talent: Srikar Bharat Finally Gets His Chance As India's Test Wicketkeeper
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Srikar Bharat, a talented cricketer from Visakhapatnam, has become only the second player from the Telugu region to take up the wicketkeeper position for the Indian Test cricket team. Despite his good knocks in domestic tournaments, it took many years for fortune to favor him.
Bharat has been working hard for a place on the national team for years. He represented India's A and B teams. Despite receiving calls to join the Indian team four years ago, it was only in the current Border Gavaskar Trophy that he finally got a chance to join the India Team.
With his debut in the Test match against Australia, Srikar Bharat became the second player from the Telugu region, following MSK Prasad, to take up the role of wicketkeeper for India in Tests.
Across all three formats of the game, he is the third player to do so. Prior to him, Pochaiah Krishnamurthy from Hyderabad played as a wicketkeeper for India in ODIs.
KS Bharat received his first call-up to the national team during the Test series against Bangladesh in 2019. The selectors, who were looking to replace Rishabh Pant, chose Bharat as the backup player for Wriddhiman Saha.
In 2020, Bharat got an unexpected chance in ODI. As Pant suffered a concussion in the match against Australia, Bharat was taken into the team. But, KL Rahul, who was already in the team, took over the responsibility of keeping.
Srikar Bharat was again included in the team for the series against England in January 2021 and May 2021 the same year. Bharat was a standby player for Saha but luck didn't favor him to put on his gloves.
Srikar Bharat did keeping for the first time in November 2021 for the national team, when Wriddhiman Saha was injured in the match against New Zealand. He performed nicely with two catches and a stump.
In February 2022, Srikar Bharat was selected for the series against Sri Lanka. He was also chosen for the postponed Test series against England, but he was not given a chance to play. Finally, after years of waiting, he was given an opportunity in the 2023 Border Gavaskar Trophy.
In 2015, Delhi bought Bharat for a sum of 10 lakh rupees. In 2021, he was picked up by RCB for 20 lakh rupees. In the following year, 2022, he played for the Delhi Capitals. And in 2023, he was acquired by the Gujarat Titans for a price of 1.20 crore rupees.
In the 2021 Indian Premier League, Srikar Bharat was given the opportunity to play in several matches. He made a strong impression by hitting a last-ball six to secure a victory for RCB against the Delhi Capitals.
Srikar Bharat boasts an impressive record in domestic tournaments. He created a stir by becoming the first wicketkeeper-batsman to score a triple century in the Ranji Trophy.