India have decided to add KS Bharat to their squad for the second ODI against Australia as cover for the concussed Rishabh Pant.
With KL Rahul set to perform glovework duties in the Rajkot ODI after having fulfilled the responsibilities in the absence of Pant in the previous game, Bharat has been roped in as a backup option.
The series opener saw Pant suffer a blow to the helmet from a sharp Pat Cummins delivery that led to his dismissal.
The dynamic shot-maker could not take the field thereafter and was subsequently ruled out of the second ODI.
He is currently undergoing his rehabilitation protocol at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru with a call on his availability for the final ODI yet to be determined in line with his process of recovery.
Bharat was in Hyderabad when he was requested to rush to Rajkot to join the India squad that will take on Australia for the second game of the three-match series.
There is little possibility of Bharat getting a chance to don the national jersey for the first time in his playing career in Friday's clash unless a concussion injury to Rahul requires a like-for-like replacement according to the standard ICC procedures.
Bharat was earlier on the sidelines of the Test squad in the series against Bangladesh when he was kept on standby for Wriddhiman Saha.
The 26-year-old's numbers in List A cricket are not very encouraging since he averages a middling 28.14 with a modest strike rate of 69.74 across 51 appearances in the format.
The decision to include him in the side has thus been taken due to the unavailability of Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan, both of whom are part of the India A line-up in New Zealand.