It’s a 14-year-old scene, though Kona Srikar Bharat remembers it vividly. It’s a summer of 2005 when MS Dhoni announced himself on a general theatre with a marvellous 148 opposite Pakistan during Visakhapatnam. Bharat, usually 11 then, witnessed a destruction from a range line as a round boy. Dhoni’s career-defining hit that afternoon would boar a seeds of indebtedness in a susceptible youngster.
“Before that match, we had no thought who he (Dhoni) was. we began to follow him given then, and a demeanour in that he led his group in a 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa dual years later, remade me into a revolutionary Dhoni fan. That delight desirous me to pursue cricket as a profession,” Bharat explains.
Making seamlessly course by a age-group levels, Bharat would make his first-class entrance for Andhra during 19, and afterwards concrete his mark as a first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman for India A tours. In a final 18 months, he has featured opposite a ‘A’ teams of West Indies, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England, notching adult over 700 runs with 3 centuries, while plucking 43 catches and fulfilment 6 stumpings.
A fortnight ago, Bharat scored a pleasant 57-ball 71 on a wily Vizianagaram representation opposite a visiting South Africans in a use game. He might have missed out on a mark for a three-match Test array opposite a Proteas, though there are adequate indications to advise that he is in a fray.
What strengthens his box is that dual of a group forward of him are Wriddhiman Saha, during 35, is creation a lapse to a group following a extensive rehab, and 21-year-old Rishabh Pant, who in new times has drawn substantial slam for his insane shot selection.
Stellar India A performances
Last month, arch selector MSK Prasad had settled that Saha, Pant and Bharat would be a 3 wicketkeepers to be deliberate for Tests.
“Bharat has constructed some stellar performances for India A, and in a final 3 array he has got 3 centuries and effected 50 dismissals. At a moment, he is really tighten to preference and along with Pant and Saha are a 3 wicketkeepers we are looking during in Test cricket” was Prasad’s assessment.
To be earmarked by a arch selector as India’s No.3 wicketkeeper hardly 6 years given his first-class entrance is a conspicuous feat. What’s even some-more equitable is that compartment 19, Bharat, exclusive a integrate of rival matches, had not played as a ‘keeper. The participation of T. Vamsi Krishna, dual years his senior, in all age-group teams meant Bharat would get pigeonholed as a middle-order batsman and a dilettante close-in fielder.
That was despite Bharat polishing his wicketkeeping skills given he was 12. However, instead of removing bogged down, he would use this time to urge some of a other facets of his game.
“Barring a integrate of games, we have played my age-group cricket from U-13 compartment a U-19 turn as a batsman. Being a close-in fielder helped me urge my reflexes, that helped me as a ‘keeper,” a 25-year-old notes. The Vizag internal credits his expansion as a wicketkeeper to childhood manager J. Krishna Rao, who speckled him when he was hardly 10 during a zonal trials.
“When we initial saw him, a approach he played discerning bowlers who were 3 or 4 years comparison to him done me realize his potential. What was equally considerable was his fielding. He used to take some extraordinary catches and we was now tender by his pointy reflexes. By a time he incited 12, we threw a ‘keeping gloves during him and told him that he would play for Andhra one day,” Rao reminisces.
Rao’s modus operandi was to keep Bharat match-ready during all times.
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“I was assured that he had a talent to attain as a wicketkeeper, so, we knew his possibility would come,” Rao says. In a end, it’s ironical that Bharat would go on to reinstate Krishna as Andhra’s wicketkeeper in a 2013 season.
Dhoni and Rao aren’t a usually catalysts in Bharat’s cricketing journey. Early in life, it was his father Sreenivas Rao, employed with a naval dockyards, had a essential purpose to play.
Much before his army underneath Rao, Bharat’s nervous inlet had Sreenivas worried. As a story goes, 8-year-old Bharat would spend many of his time personification on a patio of their house.
That stirred Sreenivas to frantically hunt for a devise to keep his son engaged. As fitness would have it, word widespread that a internal cricket organisation was looking for round boys for Ranji Trophy and general matches. Sreenivas immediately got Bharat enrolled. Apart from ball-boy duties, he would also assistance a internal user during a track with a primer scoreboard.
“These activities kept me out of difficulty as a child. Watching cricket from tighten buliding lighted seductiveness in a game. While many kids of my age would spend time examination cricket on television, we got a ringside perspective of a action,” Bharat explains.
Now that he is being talked about for inhabitant selection, Bharat is discerning to discuss that he shares considerate family with both Saha and Pant.
Last year, Bharat had a cultivatable communication with a Bengal stumper on a hurdles of ‘keeping to spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja on Indian tracks.
Bharat doesn’t censor his end to enclose a India jersey, though does he cruise himself to be a healthy inheritor to Saha?
“Well, we will take that as a outrageous compliment, since a approach we see it, he is a best wicketkeeper in a nation during a moment. I’m a some-more assertive batsman than Wriddhi bhai though can also play a studious stonewalling form of innings if a conditions demands.” “I wish to play Test cricket for India,” he says before branch philosophical. “I trust that good things will come to we if we are peaceful to work tough and wait for your time.”
Bharat has put in a tough yards. He is now peaceful to wait for his time.