Srikar Bharat is an Indian cricketer hailing from Andhra Pradesh. He is a wicketkeeper and a handy batter who could bat according to the situation when required. He gained his prominence during an IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Capitals (DC) on 8 October 2021. His team RCB required 5 runs of the last ball when Bharat was on strike. DC bowler Avesh Khan bowled a low full toss which Bharat slogged towards mid-on into the crowd for a six helping his side registering their ninth win of the tournament and securing their place in the play-offs.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) October 8, 2021
Srikar Bharat was born on Sunday, 3 October 1993 (age 29 years; as of 2022) at Ramachandrapuram in Andhra Pradesh. His zodiac sign is Libra. During childhood, he was a naughty student who would often break the glasses of the neighbor’s house while playing cricket. Frustrated father then decided to put him in a cricket academy. Soon, he made his first-class debut and from thereon he went on to bag a place in an IPL side and then in the Indian test squad. Though, he wasn’t selected for the playing eleven. In 2020, he got married to his long-time girlfriend and soon, he made his IPL debut for RCBs as a wicketkeeper batter.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 67 kg
Hair Colour: Natural Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Srikar Bharat was born in a Telugu family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name is Srinivasa Rao and he works as a government employee in a Naval Dockyard.
His mother’s name is Kona Devi and she is a homemaker.
He has one elder sister named Manoghna Lokesh who is married and blessed with two daughters.
Wife & Children
On 5 August 2020, he got married to his longtime girlfriend Anjali Nedunuri. They were been in a relationship for ten years. The couple has no children.
As he was getting proficient in this game, he started playing U-16 practice matches but couldn’t perform as per his potential. Therefore, since he was a bright student in his school, his father told him to choose between cricket or studies to which he chose cricket. In 2013, he made his first-class debut against Kerala in a Ranji match. On 6 February 2015, against Goa at CSR Sharma College Ground in Andhra Pradesh, he scored 308 runs batting at number three of 311 balls and took his side to a win by an inning and 136 runs. He also took eight catches playing as a wicketkeeper in that match. From thereon, he represented Andhra in a domestic circuit and then went on to become the premium player for his side.
In 2018, he played in a Duleep Trophy for India’s Blue side and performed brilliantly. This followed up with his inclusion in the test side against Bangladesh where he got the chance as a substitute keeper in place of injured Wriddhiman Saha as according to the ICC rule 2017, a substitute wicketkeeper can take a place of an onfield keeper if he happens to suffer from any injury. The other wicketkeeper was Rishabh Pant but he was released to play in the Syed Mushtaq Trophy to get sufficient practice for the limited-over series against the Caribbean.
During the post-match ceremony after the series, Virat Kohli, the captain of the Indian team handed over the trophy to the young Srikar Bharat.
In 2020, he again got the chance in an Indian test team for the tours of Australia and England but this time as a standby player for the injured Rishabh Pant. In both the series, he was seen warming the benches rather than on the field.
From 2018 to 2019, Bharat featured in 11 unofficial tests for the India ‘A’ team against the ‘A’ teams of Australia, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and South Africa. In this period, he scored 758 runs that include three centuries and two fifties. Also, he was indulged in 47 dismissals as a keeper.
On 27 February 2021, a match was played between Andhra and Mumbai teams in the Syed Mushtaq Trophy. Srikar Bharat impressed everyone with his fine batting and wicketkeeping skills. When he came to his dressing room, he saw his mobile phone loaded with messages congratulating him for been selected in the Indian test Team squad for the tour of England. Recalling that moment, Bharat told,
“I was overwhelmed. Watching youngsters performing well in the recently concluded series against Australia had given me great confidence. Having played for India A for over three years, I’ve been waiting for my time, although, honestly, I did not expect the call.”
He further adds,
“Playing for the country is what everyone dreams of, and playing at the highest level is something for which we cannot even express adequate joy and pride. This is the moment every youngster would like to live for.”
His first List-A century came against Australia ‘A’ at the KSCA Stadium in Bengaluru on 10 September 2021. On the score of 346 runs by Australia, when India ‘A’ was chasing, after the fourth wicket went down, KS Bharat came to bat to join Shubman Gill and took the score to 397 runs. Bharat scored 106 runs off 186 balls in that match and helped his side surpass 500 plus runs in their first innings. Both this game and the series ended in a draw.
Soon on 20 September 2021, he got the chance to play for the Royal Challengers Banglore’s (RCB) team in IPL 2021 against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He was sent out to bat at number three after RCB lost the crucial wicket of Virat Kohli. He couldn’t contribute much and got dismissed on 16 runs after facing 19 balls. The runs weren’t flowing from his bat until the match against Delhi Capitals where he scored 78 runs off 52 balls with a strike rate of 150.
It was the same match where he took his side to an impossible win after smashing the six of the last ball of the match. He was honored with the Man of the Match award.
Post that match, he could only score 9 runs in the eliminator match against KKR on 11 October 2021. Unfortunately, RCB lost the match by four wickets and ended their IPL 2021 campaign. This was the last match for Virat Kohli as a captain of the RCBs. Out of eight matches he played in IPL 2021, he scored 191 runs with an average of 38.25.
On 9 February 2023, he made his test debut against Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.
- The first cricketer from Visakhapatnam to feature in the Indian team.
- First wicketkeeper to score a triple century in Ranji Trophy and fifth overall in first-class cricket after Billy Murdoch, Clyde Walcott, Imtiaz Ahmed, and Kusal Perera
- The fifth batsman from the South Indian side to score a triple century in a Ranji Trophy
- Second batsman to score a double-century for Andhra in First-Class cricket after Amit Pathak
- Seventh Indian wicketkeeper to claim ten and more catches in a first-class match against South Africa ‘A’ in 2018
- Andhra Pradesh Association XI
- Royal Challengers Bangalore (2021)
- Sports- Golf, Table Tennis
- Songs- Hip hop and rock music
- After the match when he hit that six, he told that he asked his batting partner and the senior batter Glenn Maxwell, whether he wants the strike to which he said,
“You can finish it off.”
He further added,
“The last over… me and Maxi were talking about what are the areas we can access. He said, watch the ball and get bat on the ball… The last 3 balls, you know I asked him whether to run, he said ‘no, you can finish it off. It gave me a lot of confidence. I was just focused on one ball which is coming next. rather than thinking of too many things. I kept it very simple and as a team, we did very well and we pulled it off.”
- After he joined cricket, he practiced in the net for around 7 to 8 years. He once told that he played cricket just for fun and from staying away from the school. It was in his later period, that he decided he would play for India someday. His father used to be gentle but like other parents, he was also more concerned about his future.
- During the U-16 practice matches, he ran out of form. As a result, his father asked him to choose between cricket and studies. Bharat was a bright student in his school.
- During his initial days in the academy, he was a proficient slip and gully fielder who would often take diving catches and help in run-out. Seeing this, his coach suggested him to go for wicketkeeping. As wicketkeeping requires an agile and dynamic approach which Bharat had since childhood. He started playing as a wicketkeeper against the match in a Ranji Trophy against Hyderabad.
- While he was at home during COVID lockdown, he would do 90 minutes of strength and core workout daily combined with one hour of shadow batting practice in front of the mirror. He visualizes the shots, he would play on the field after the lockdown period. He also said during an interview that eating, sleeping, and drinking in the right amount, and having a proper conversation with the right people are very important.
- He was bought for 10 Lakh INR (13367 US Dollars) by the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2015 where he didn’t get the chance to play. He was then bought for 20 Lakhs (26737 US Dollars) by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2021. However, in this season he played for the team batting at number three. When he was bought by Delhi Daredevils, the captain of the team was the former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan. Interestingly, in 2005 when Zaheer was playing for the national side against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam, Bharat was the ball boy. It was in this game where Dhoni scored his first international hundred (148 runs off 123 balls) on 5 April 2005. Bharat then remained the ball boy for all the international matches here as he wanted to get good exposure to international playing conditions.
- Speaking about his idol and a cricket legend also an India ‘A’ coach then, Rahul Dravid, he said,
“During our India-A stint, we played a lot under Rahul sir, and we picked up a lot from him. Playing while he is watching gives you a different high. He always tells us to keep it simple, and his influence over the years has been great.”