Will India prefer Ishan Kishan over Srikar Bharat in series decider?

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan during a training session. File photo: AFP/ Money Sharma

New Delhi: The relatively better batting track at the Narendra Modi Stadium could well bring dashing Jharkhand keeper-batter Ishan Kishan into the mix following Srikar Bharat's poor show with the willow in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Bharat, who has been groomed as Rishabh Pant's back-up for the past one year and is an India 'A' regular, has had scores of 8, 6, 23 not out, 17 and 3 in the five innings that he played in the first three Tests.

His keeping has been impressive on slow turners even though he did bungle a bit on a raging turner in Indore.

However, 57 runs from five innings has certainly not been beneficial to Indian team's cause with its batting unit already struggling on difficult tracks.

On Tuesday, head coach Rahul Dravid did spend a lot of time with Kishan as he got two separate hits at the nets.

India's net sessions haven't always thrown up a proper picture of what team management has in mind and on Tuesday Bharat was rested from the optional session but is likely to turn up for the training session on Wednesday.

The Motera track has a firm look to it and the even bounce means that Kishan's attacking style of batting may be preferred by the team.

The effect of Rishabh Pant's horrific accident has never been felt as much as it has been during the series where India have missed a counter-attacking batter in the middle-order.

Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are all-rounders and more than capable of playing match-winning knocks but certainly aren't players with X-factor who can change the game in a single session.

Suryakumar Yadav was tried in Nagpur but that was due to the absence of Shreyas Iyer.

The only factor that can go against Kishan is the presence of two off-spinners in the Australian ranks. Kishan has had problems against deliveries that turn away but that has happened in white-ball cricket where he has to attack straightaway.

With no chance of Pant's recovery in the near future, Kishan is a way better option and Motera is perhaps the best place to check him out and see if he has the requisite temperament, if not the flawless technique, to play the traditional format.

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