Aakash Saini ∙ Jun 2 2023, 9:30 PM | 2 Min Read

Matthew Hayden Backs Ishan Kishan to Play WTC Final in Rishabh Pant’s Absence

image-liein989Ishan Kishan in a training session (AP)

The hunt for India’s WTC final wicketkeeper choice is now a two-way race between KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan. The aforementioned situation unfurled after Rishabh Pant’s brutal car accident earlier this year, followed by standby keeper KL Rahul going down due to a thigh injury in IPL 2023.

Both Bharat and Kishan come with their own baggage of pros and cons, as team management continues to ponder in their race against time prior to the summit clash.

While a concrete decision is yet to be made, former Australian batter Matthew Hayden has given his take over the matter.

Hayden says he will go with Ishan Kishan

Australian legend Matthew Hayden has claimed that Rishabh Pant’s injury serves a huge loss for the Indian team. At the same time, the cricketer has backed Ishan Kishan to take Pant’s place for the WTC 2023 final, describing the Mumbai Indians glovesman as a “dynamic” cricketer who can add swagger to the batting line-up.

While speaking with the PTI, Hayden said:

“One of the big losses to Indian cricket right now is Rishabh Pant. If I was an Indian selector, I certainly go with the more dynamic wicketkeeper batter Ishan Kishan, he also adds that bit of swagger to the batting line up and in the fielding unit as well.”

Ishan Kishan is yet to make his Test debut, despite featuring in 14 ODIs and 27 T20Is for his country. The 24-year-old, however, does averages over 38 in first-class cricket. He was also one of the standout performers for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023, minting over 450 runs throughout the season.

KS Bharat, on the other hand, played all four Tests against Australia in his debut series earlier this year. The Ranji Trophy veteran may not have made his presence felt with the bat, but he holds a Test batting mindset and fared well behind the stumps on turning Indian tracks.