Andhra Pradesh

Vizagites rejoice as Bharat joins the Indian Test squad

A file photo of K.S. Bharat celebrating his century against Australia A in the unofficial Test cricket match at the Alur ground in Bengaluru.

A file photo of K.S. Bharat celebrating his century against Australia A in the unofficial Test cricket match at the Alur ground in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

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He is the first cricketer from the city to be selected for the Test squad

Vizagites, especially those connected to cricket, are in a jubilant mood, as city lad Kone Srikar Bharat has been selected by the BCCI for the Indian test team.

The 26-year-old cricketer has been asked to join the team in the midst of the historic pink ball test match, being played between India and Bangladesh.

“We have been hoping that he will be selected one day, but it came as a surprise, as he was busy playing Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament,” said his father Srinivasa Rao, an employee of Naval Dockyard.

Bharat is the first cricketer from Vizag to be selected for the test squad.

The only other cricketer to make it big from Vizag earlier was Y. Venugopla Rao, who only played one-day internationals.

Born in 1993, Bharat did his schooling in St. Aloysius and later his degree from Dr. L.B. College.

“We recognised his talent right from his under-12 days, but he started to flourish from under-16 and under-19 days. He took up wicket keeping from under-19,” said J.K.M. Raju, joint secretary of Visakhapatnam District Cricket Association, who has seen Bharat grow as a cricketer.

According to many cricketers, who have played and are still playing league cricket with him, say that he is not only a stylish and aggressive batsman, but one of the safest hands behind the stumps.

“He is one among the top four wicketkeepers in the country today after MS. Dhoni, Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant,” said SKA Hussain, a former State cricketer.

Congratulating Bharat, VDCA Secretary K. Parthasarathi said that Bharat is not only a talented wicketkeeper, but also a very good batsman, who can open the innings, as well as play in the middle order.

Triple century

“He has scored tons of runs in domestic cricket including eight centuries and over 20 half centuries. He was the first wicketkeeper batsman to score a triple century in a Ranji Trophy match,” Mr. Parthasarathi said.

Many who have played with him, say that he deserved the break. “He worked hard for this day. He would practise for over seven hours a day and his batting is a combination of right temperament and aggression. A perfect blend for test and limited format of the game,” said Mr. Raju.

“I am sure that he will motivate many cricketers to play the higher format from the city,” said VDCA president and former MLA P. Vishnu Kumar Raju.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 10:14:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/vizagites-rejoice-as-bharat-joins-the-indian-test-squad/article30060992.ece

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