WATCH: Suryakumar Yadav and KS Bharat receive debut Test caps vs Australia with families in attendance

KS Bharat’s father choked a little as he spoke after his son received his first Test match cap during the India-Australia four match series opener in Nagpur on Thursday.

“He’s getting to play in the Border-Gavaskar series, it’s a big thing for our family,” he said. “Bharat had a lot of interest towards the game since his early days. I would like to especially thank the BCCI that we were there when Bharat received his debut cap. He has worked really hard. (As a kid), he used to take his kit to the ground by himself. After practice, he used to study for the school next day and used to ready his cricket equipment after returning from school.”

Cheteshwar Pujara, who is a game away from his 100th Test, reiterated to the keeper-batter in the pre-match huddle, “You have worked really hard to earn this.”

Bharat himself felt full during the moment and was caught by one of the BCCI cameras on ground as he kissed his baggy blue cap and looked up in the skies ahead of the first day. He would later add a stumping of Marnus Labuschagne to mark the occasion.

“This is like a dream come true for all us. Not just for Bharat, but me, the family and many supporters. There are a lot of people behind him to see where he is right now. It is our luck that we are able to see this moment. As I wife, I’m very proud of Bharat and we’re enjoying the moment,” his wife would add.

Bharat, who had been part of the team’s red ball squad before, had kept wickets for India in the absence of Rishabh Pant before in the middle. His first inclusion dates back to November 2019 when Wriddhiman Saha used to be India’s first choice keeper.

It was also a maiden calling to the red ball eleven for Suryakumar Yadav. Having already gained a repertoire for being India’s most talked about white-ball batter in recent times, Ravi Shastri reckoned Surya didn’t need a makeover in his approach in India’s whites.

“Wear this with pride and honour and remember that every time you step out for your country, you have reached here not with anybody’s help,” the former India coach said while handing the cap to the right-handed batter. “You’ve reached here because of what you have done. The way you have performed over the past few months. So enjoy, your game shouldn’t change just because of this stamp, ‘Test match cricket’. You play the way you play and treat it as another game. Enjoy yourself and entertain.”

Surya was India’s highest run scorer in T20Is in 2022 and scored his third ton in the shortest format earlier this year against Sri Lanka.

“As a parent, we have seen since childhood that he was very passionate about the game of cricket,” his father said. “Though he had a choice earlier between badminton and cricket but he chose to play cricket and we supported. We feel very proud that after T20 and ODI, he’s got the Test cap. It is the ultimate format of the game.”

“He’s worked really hard. Everyone’s worked hard with him. We can just be there for him but at the end, the hard work is his. He’s put in the hours. He’s done his effort. And here we are watching him play for the first time in Test cricket,” Surya’s wife added.

His mother conceded that even though he had already played in two formats for India, this felt even more special.

“Since his childhood, I’ve seen him play cricket and work hard. Today, after watching him receive this cap, I’m feeling even more proud of him.”

India finished the day in control of the game’s narrative, 77/1 and just 100 runs behind Australia who were bundled out early in third session following a fifer from Ravindra Jadeja and three wickets from Ravichandran Ashwin.

“Always a special day when a couple more boys join our family. It’s obviously a dream come true for millions of people and there haven’t been many who’ve had the pleasure or privilege of having a Test cap and playing Test cricket for India,” head coach Rahul Dravid said on the two debutants ahead of the day’s play.

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