Indore batter Rajat Patidar is poised to step into the shoes of Virat Kohli for the initial two Tests against England, commencing in Hyderabad on Thursday. Kohli, the regular captain, opted to sit out the first two matches, citing personal reasons. Patidar’s inclusion comes on the back of his exceptional performances, especially against England Lions, where he notched up consecutive centuries.
His remarkable form includes a stellar 151 in the first tour game in Ahmedabad and another century, scoring 111, in the warm-up fixture against the England Lions. Patidar’s recent exploits make him a strong contender to feature in the middle-order for the first Test against England.
With over 4000 runs in 55 First-class matches for Madhya Pradesh, Patidar has established himself as a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. His contribution played a pivotal role in Madhya Pradesh’s historic Ranji Trophy triumph in 2022, where he emerged as the second-highest run-scorer of the season with 658 runs.
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Having made his international debut in the 3rd ODI against South Africa in December, Patidar opened the innings and showcased his aggressive intent with a quick-fire 16-ball 22. If selected for the first Test, he is expected to bolster the Indian middle-order.
Congrats to Rajat Patidar for finding a place in the squad 👏👏
Here’s an interview I had taken last year. https://t.co/rux2IQm5iS
— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) January 24, 2024
While the official confirmation from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is pending, Patidar’s inclusion suggests a strategic shift in the team management’s approach, exploring options beyond established players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
On the other hand, Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan, who also featured in the India A XI alongside Patidar, faces an extended wait for a spot in the playing XI. Despite scoring an impressive 96 in the first innings against England Lions, Khan might have to bide his time before making it to the Test team.
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Team India aims to maintain its formidable record at home, having not lost a Test series since the 2012-13 season. The upcoming series against England presents an opportunity for the new faces in the squad to make their mark and contribute to India’s success.