Team India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour has stated that picking one between Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar for the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam will be a tough choice for the management. He further added that the final call will be taken by captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid, considering the conditions there in mind.
However, Patidar was added to the squad for the first two Tests after Virat Kohli pulled out citing personal reasons. Sarfaraz, on the other hand, earned his maiden call-up to the national side after KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja were ruled due to injury as well.
In the press conference ahead of the second Test, Vikram Rathour said, “It will be a tough choice. What value they bring to the team, of course, is that they are superb players. We have seen how well they have done in domestic cricket in the last few years. So on these kinds of wickets, I think they can really add a lot of value to the team. If we have to pick just one out of them, of course, it would be tough. But, that decision will be made by Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma. The playing XI will be finalized keeping in mind the conditions.”
However, Sarfaraz Khan has scored 3,912 runs in 45 first-class games which came at an average of 69.85, with 14 tons and 11 fifties. Meanwhile, Patidar has scored 4,000 runs in 55 first-class games at an average of 45.97, with 12 centuries and 22 fifties. The surface for the second Test has been a matter of concern after England beat India on a slow turner in Hyderabad. Rathour again said that there will be spin on offer in Visakhapatnam but also gave the hint that the surface might not be a rank turner.
“It (pitch) is difficult to predict. It will turn, maybe not from the first day, but eventually, it will turn. That’s how the wicket looks like,” the Indian batting coach commented.
“Once you come to this level, I don’t think you require too much coaching. It’s about reading the situations and making smarter decisions. As long as they are asking the right questions and receiving the right answers, there is no chance of over-coaching,” Vikram Rathoure concluded.