IND vs AUS: 3 potential replacements for injured Rishabh Pant
Indian wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant met a car accident on Friday (December 23) and suffered injuries in several areas. Though the southpaw's condition is stable, his comeback date to the cricket field is not certain yet. Notably, India will host Australia in a crucial four-match Test series in February-March, and Pant's absence can hamper the home team. Let's look at Pant's three potential replacements.
Why does this story matter?
- The Australia series will be India's last assignment in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship cycle.
- The hosts would need at least three wins to qualify for the final without depending on other results.
- Pant has been a vital part of India's Test team and his record versus Australia is tremendous.
- Though filling his boots won't be easy, India have some potent back-ups.
Pant has been a formidable force in Tests
Making his Test debut in 2018, Pant has so far racked up 2,271 runs in 33 games at 43.67. His strike rate reads 73.61. The tally includes five tons and 11 half-centuries. Interestingly, he has been dismissed in the 90s six times in Tests, most by a keeper. In 2022, the 25-year-old mustered 680 runs in seven Tests at 61.81 (SR: 90.9).
KS Bharat front-runner to take the spot
Andhra's KS Bharat has been India's back-up keeper in Tests for a while but is yet to make his debut. The 28-year-old has been a consistent run-scorer in red-ball cricket. He also boasts a safe pair of hands. The keeper has so far mustered 4,533 runs in 84 FC matches at 37.46 (50s: 25, 100s: 9). The tally includes a triple hundred as well.
Ishan Kishan is also in contention
Though Ishan Kishan's keeping skills aren't rated that highly, he can make a Pant-like impact in the batting department. Kishan, who recorded the fastest ODI double-ton earlier this month, likes to bat aggressively. He even smothered a hundred in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season. Overall, he boasts 2,985 runs in 48 FC games at 38.76 (50s: 16, 100s: 6).
Sanju Samson has done well in FC cricket
A victim of inconsistent selection in India's white-ball teams, Sanju Samson might also be considered in case Pant is not available for the Australia Test series. The Kerala keeper-batter likes to score quickly and is well-versed with the turning Indian tracks. In 58 FC games, Samson has racked up 3,446 runs at 38.71. The tally includes 10 tons and 15 fifties.