IND vs ENG: Rajat Patidar Replaces Virat Kohli for First Two Tests

Rajat Patidar

Between Pujara, Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan and Rinku Singh, Patidar's name got selected

Vishal Singh Jan. 24, 2024

All rumours regarding Virat Kohli's successor were put to rest by the BCCI selection committee, which was conducted by Ajit Agarkar when Rajat Patidar was added to the Indian team for the opening two Test matches against England. For personal reasons, Kohli will miss the two games in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. The BCCI suggested naming a replacement soon in an official statement, but they also asked for respect for Kohli's privacy. The options were the youngsters Rinku Singh, Sarfaraz Khan and Patidar, and the seasoned Cheteshwar Pujara. However, Patidar's victory in the race was officially declared on Tuesday night.

Together with the other players of the Indian team in Hyderabad, the right-handed hitter from Madhya Pradesh, Naman, was sighted at the BCCI annual awards. Since KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are expected to bat in the middle order on Thursday, Naman is unlikely to receive his Test cap. However, the selectors chose to call up Patidar because India lacked another specialist batsman in the reserves.

Patidar as a clear choice -

The selection committee and the team management allegedly decided unanimously on Patidar, making it obvious that they don't want to revert to the Pujara-Rahane path. This implies that Sarfaraz, who has been the most productive red-ball hitter on the Indian domestic circuit for the past three seasons, will have to wait until he receives his first call-up.

After smashing two hundred in his final three innings for India A against the England Lions, Patidar was always the clear favourite. It is thought that his 151-run innings in the last four-day match, where the majority of India A's hitters, including skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran, failed in the opening innings, was the decisive reason.

Patidar has been in consideration for some time now. He would have made his debut much sooner if it weren't for an Achilles heel injury that necessitated surgery and kept him out of the game for almost eight months. When he was selected for the third ODI against South Africa in Paarl, the 30-year-old received his India cap at last. He opened the batting and scored an easy 22.

346157

Patidar, who has experience batting in the middle order, is renowned for his ability to score runs quickly against both pace and spin. With an average of 52.50 and an impressive strike rate of 104.30, he scored 315 runs in 6 innings during his respectable Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign the previous year. His first-class average of 46 in 55 games is proof of his skill with the red ball.

Patidar was originally included in the India A squad for the second and third four-day matches against the England Lions. However, Rinku Singh was named in the India A squad for the second match by the selection committee due to Kohli's unavailability, which opened the door for Patidar to be included in the Test side.