Ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final clash against Australia at The Oval starting from Wednesday, India wicket-keeper K.S. Bharat revealed that he had a very good conversation with legendary wicketkeeper-batter M.S. Dhoni during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 before joining the national side in England.
"Recently during the IPL, I had a word with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He (talked about) his experiences keeping in England as well as what would work the best for any wicket-keeper. It was a very good conversation and there were a lot of insights from that," Bharat was quoted as saying by ICC on Monday.
Bharat's previous experience of playing in England is limited, with a first-class match against West Indies-A on India-A's tour of England in 2018 and featuring in last year's tour game against Leicestershire to show.
Bharat took up wicketkeeping duties for India in injured Rishabh Pant's absence during this year's four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home, though he registered a top score of 44 in the series.
Further talking about Dhoni's advice to him, Bharat said, "It's the awareness -- the best example is MS Dhoni, the awareness he has in keeping is outstanding. You need intent and passion to be a keeper because keeping is a thankless job."
"You keep 90 overs in a Test day and you have to be concentrating ball by ball, so you have to accept the challenges and embrace it and be really passionate about contributing to the team."Bharat's place in the playing eleven is one of the big selection queries India is facing ahead of the WTC Final, with left-handed wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan being the other contender for the wicketkeeper-batter slot. Kishan is yet to feature for India in the longer format of the game, though he's capped in ODIs and T20Is.
India will be hoping to go one better in this year's final than the last time they travelled to England for the inaugural WTC Final back in 2021 when they were beaten to the title by New Zealand at Rose Bowl in Southampton.