VVS Laxman has stated that he still remembers India head coach Rahul Dravid raving about KS Bharat's wicket-keeping skills in the past. The former Indian cricketer further lauded Bharat, who had to take up the wicket-keeping duties on Day 3 of the Kanpur Test in the absence of Wriddhiman Saha.
KS Bharat, who earned his maiden Test call-up, replaced Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps on Day 3 of the ongoing first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur after the latter was unavailable due to stiffness in his neck. During the match on Day 3, the Andhra Pradesh-born player took two catches and initiated one stumping against the Kiwis on Saturday in Kanpur. He took the catches of Will Young and Ross Taylor and stumped out Tom Latham. The Kane Willamson-led side were bowled out for 296 runs, in reply to India's first innings score of 345.
Meanwhile, Laxman lauded Bharat for his wicket-keeping skills, and stated that Bharat has repaid the faith of the selectors and the head coach with his performance on Day 3 of the first Test in Kanpur.
"I still remember Rahul Dravid raving about KS Bharat’s wicketkeeping skills. He told me that Bharat has good keeping skills, next only to Wriddhiman Saha in Indian cricket.
"It’s good to see him repaying the faith the selectors and the head coach. I think he has justified the confidence showed in him by the selectors and the coach," Laxman said on Star Sports after the day's play.
Laxman further added that it is important to have quality keepers in spin-friendly conditions.
"In these quality spin conditions, if you don't have a reliable wicketkeeper then you're going to miss a lot of chances. What we saw today was great technique and great presence of mind, he didn't panic at all for someone who has come into this team recently and got to play only because Saha was injured.
"Fantastic experience for Bharat, this will give him a lot of confidence going forward in his career," Laxman added.