India wicketkeeper KS Bharat said on Monday that the pitches in the first two Test matches of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy were not unplayable and that the key for batters is to trust their defence.

Hosts India won the first two Tests, in Nagpur and Delhi respectively, by big margins to retain the trophy and will be determined to complete the series win when the third Test begins in Indore on Wednesday.

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Bharat, who was part of the Indian test squad for a year, edged out Ishan Kishan to make his debut in Nagpur with Rishabh Pant being sidelined. The 29-year-old did well with the gloves in the first two Tests and even played a confidence-boosting knock in Delhi to take his team over the line.

The pitches in the first two Tests, which got over inside three days, drew attention for being spin-friendly but according to Bharat, batters with attacking mindsets had chances to do well.

“I enjoyed whatever I did in Delhi. My job was to keep it simple. You just need to back your defence, the wickets are not unplayable. You apply yourself, back your defence and there is definitely scope for batters to score,” said Bharat in a press conference ahead of the third Test.

“Rohit bhai (captain Sharma) told me that I will bat at No 6 in the second innings in Delhi. The moment Australia were all out, I was ready to bat and contribute. The intent is never a problem, shot selection is critical on these tracks. Runs will come here if shot selection is right. You can’t just defend, you have to look for scoring opportunities, that is what I tried to do.”

Bharat also insisted that his experience in domestic cricket has helped him with the gloves in front of quality spinners like R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

“They are top-class spinners. It is not easy keeping but keeping in domestic cricket all these years has helped,” he said.

Reflecting on the opportunity to make his India debut, Bharat said it was a dream come true after years of hard work.

“As a player you always expect the opportunity to come to your door. For me I have always prepared myself for any opportunity,” said Bharat. “I got to play in Nagpur after my time with India A and years of domestic cricket. You want to play for the country, it is the biggest dream. When the opportunity comes, I will take it.”

Quotes via PTI