Former India opener turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has said that Devdutt Padikkal could probably replace Virat Kohli in the first two Tests between India and England. However, India and England will take on each other in a five-match Test series, with the first game taking place in Hyderabad on Thursday, January 25. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has opted out of the first two Test matches for personal reasons and a replacement for him will be announced soon as well.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “Let me put a left-hander – Devdutt Padikkal. I say he is Indian cricket’s future but he can become the present now because he is batting extremely well. He missed a double century recently. He is batting at a different level. He is scoring runs wherever he is playing. He is a special player, plays spin and pace well, and has a good temperament. He is a three-format player. He did not have a good one to one-and-a-half years before the last IPL. After IPL 2023, there is no place where he hasn’t scored runs. So why not Devdutt Padikkal?”
However, Devdutt Padikkal has scored 1849 runs which came at an average of 41.08 in 28 first-class games. He has hit four tons and three fifties in his last 10 innings in first-class and List-A cricket as well, which also included a 193-run knock in Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy game against Punjab as well.
And, Aakash Chopra also named Rajat Patidar as another potential replacement for star India batter Virat Kohli as well. Patidar has hit 4000 runs at an average of 45.97 in 55 first-class games. He played an 151-run knock in India A’s first innings of the first unofficial Test against England Lions as well.
“Rajat Patidar’s performances have been amazing. Of course, he missed an IPL in between because of injury, but after that, since he has returned, he has scored runs. He played well against the England Lions also recently,” Aakash Chopra concluded. “A lot of people have seen him only in the IPL, so they see from the IPL angle, but they should see apart from the IPL as well. The guy plays in first-class cricket style. So Rajat Patidar is one name that comes to my mind, who is a middle-order batter and could be selected here.”