While there is not much debate over most of the slots in the Indian playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, India is still not certain about the wicketkeeping slot.
If Rishabh Pant was fit and available, there wouldn’t have been a debate over the wicketkeeping slot either and Rishabh would have been the straightforward pick, but since Rishabh is not there, India is left with a couple of inexperienced options as far as test cricket is concerned.
Out of the two options that are available in the squad right now, KS Bharat is slightly more experienced than Ishan Kishan as he made his test debut in the test series against Australia earlier this year and played all the 4 test matches.
While Bharat’s glove-work was decent in the home series against Australia, he failed to make too much of an impression with the bat and in modern day cricket, the specialist wicketkeepers are finding it difficult to hold onto their spots without contributing with the bat.
As far as Ishan Kishan is concerned, he hasn’t played a test match for India yet and playing him directly in an ICC final will surely be a bold move, but he has probably got an edge over KS Bharat in terms of batting abilities.
World Test Championship (WTC) final is expected to be played on a batting track
Also, the Kennington Oval, where the World Test Championship (WTC) final will be played is generally one of the flat pitches in England, where batting plays a huge role in deciding the fate of test matches. The tempo at which Ishan Kishan bats, he can make a similar impact at no. 7 that Rishabh Pant has been making for India in the last 3 or 4 years.
But, in England, wicketkeeping requires special skill, as the ball wobbles a fair bit and sometimes, it wobbles after passing the batsmen as well, which makes it difficult for many touring wicketkeepers to collect the ball cleanly.
All in all, it’s a headache for the Indian team management to make a decision on the wicketkeeping slot right now, but one shouldn’t be surprised if they make a bold move eventually and hand Ishan Kishan his debut test cap for the World Test Championship final.