India wicketkeeper-batter KS Bharat on Monday revealed that skipper Rohit Sharma has advised him to express his thoughts on whatever he feels over DRS calls during the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.
After making his debut in the first Test at Nagpur, Bharat has bagged four catches and a stumping across India's massive victories in the first two matches of the series. He has also been a key factor in India making some decisive DRS calls during matches in Nagpur and New Delhi.
"Rohit bhai and myself had a word. He said, 'you are the best judge, as you stay close to the batsman. So whatever you feel, just give your opinion. You, me and the bowler - the three of us will discuss, and we will take a call'.
He said, 'don't worry about whether it is going to go our way or their way. Just back your instinct - whatever you feel, just put it across'. So the message is clear," said Bharat in the press conference, ahead of the third Test starting from Wednesday.
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After not making much of an impression with the bat in his first three Test innings, Bharat played a counter-attacking 23 not out off 22 balls which featured three fours and a six as India chased down 115 in New Delhi to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in four-match series.
"I enjoyed playing whatever I did in Delhi. It was about keeping it simple and backing your defence. Wickets are not unplayable, just have to back your defence. Rohit bhai told me that I will go in at No. 6 (in the 2nd innings).
I was ready the minute they (Australia) got all out. As a player, when you sit out, you just can't relax saying, 'it's not going to be my day'. You always have to be in the game," he said.
Lucky enough that I got an opportunity to go in and bat. The intent is never a problem, shot selection is critical on these tracks. Runs will come here if shot selection is right. Trusting defence is key," he added.
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Asked about the tough job of wicketkeeping when Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are bowling in tandem, Bharat said, "They are top-class spinners. It is not easy keeping but keeping in domestic cricket all these years has helped."
Bharat, who plays domestic cricket for Andhra, had been the second wicketkeeper in the Indian team since 2019 and got his chance when first-choice wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant was sidelined due to multiple injuries sustained in a serious car accident on December 30, 2022.
"As a player, you always expect the opportunity to come to your door. For me, I have always prepared myself for any opportunity. I got to play in Nagpur after my time with India A and years of domestic cricket. You want to play for the country, it is the biggest dream. When the opportunity comes, I will take it," he concluded.