Visakhapatnam: Promising wicket-keeper-batsman from the city, 26-year-old Kona Srikar Bharat is on cloud nine, these days. Sharing the dressing room with Indian skipper Virat Kohli and other Team India members during the recent Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata, he is now hopeful of Test baptism in the upcoming tour of New Zealand.
“Joining Indian team in the Kolkata Test is a big moment in my life. It is a clear indication that the BCCI selectors have recognized my batting performance and keeping skills”, said Bharat.
Quite ironically, the Chairman of selectors is former Test stumper MSK Prasad, who also rose to the pinnacle from Andhra Cricket Association (ACA).
‘Indian team management has been searching for a talented wicket-keeper for the longer version. We are hoping that Bharat will fill the vacuum and bring joy to all of us,’ was the orchestrated opinion of every ACA member.
“I am a big fan of MS Dhoni, particularly his cool approach and a naturally-endowed talent. I believe that competition for the keeping slots has always been a healthy one”, added Bharat.
Like his inspiration, he has been a dashing batsman, who has the envious distinction of being the first wicket-keeper to score a triple century in Ranji Trophy. This feat was achieved in 2014-15 against Goa in Ongole.
As an opener, Bharat scored 308 runs from 311 balls. The innings was laced with 38 exquisite hits to the fence and six heaves over the ropes. His overall first-class batting average is 37.58 with eight centuries.
“I learnt a lot from Rahul Dravid, who is a great coach and mentor and teaches the art of batting across training sessions”, was Bharat’s salutation to the legendary batsman.
‘We strongly believe that our son will knock the Test rooms, sooner than later’, say Bharat’s parents K Srinivasa Rao and K Mayadevi.
Bharat is a B Com graduate from Dr LB College in Vizag.