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Ravichandran Ashwin Gives An Inspiring Speech Marks Devdutt Padikkal’s Test Debut
By CricShots - Mar 7, 2024 7:19 pm
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In a poignant moment ahead of the fifth and final Test match between India and England, veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin delivered a heartfelt speech while presenting the debut red-ball cap to Karnataka batter Devdutt Padikkal. The occasion marked Padikkal as the fifth player to receive his maiden Test cap in the series, following Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel, and Akash Deep.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin gave debut cap to Devdutt Padikkal

Padikkal’s inclusion came at the expense of Patidar, who had replaced Virat Kohli in the squad but struggled with shot selection and managed only 63 runs across the Tests in Vizag, Rajkot, and Ranchi. The decision to introduce Padikkal reflects the team’s commitment to rewarding promising performances, with the left-hander having impressed in domestic cricket and the IPL.

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As Ashwin handed the debut cap to Padikkal, he praised the 23-year-old’s journey from T20 cricket to the Test arena, acknowledging the challenges he faced, both on and off the field. Ashwin highlighted Padikkal’s resilience and determination, emphasizing the significance of the debut in the picturesque setting and the context of Ashwin’s own 100th Test.

Speaking about Devdutt Padikkal, Ravichandran Ashwin said, “As a very young kid, who came on, burst on to the scene, captivated the imagination of a lot of people through T20 cricket. Came up through the ranks as the star-studded boy from his State, he went through something that a youngster will always find it hard to go through. Physical trauma literally was found hanging in the balance whether he would play cricket. Life has been very kind, he has fought through it.”

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Acknowledging the challenges Padikkal faced, Ashwin added, “Maybe thatโ€™s what makes you a much more harder individual and a harder cricketer to go through in life. Today he is standing amidst us, going to make his debut today in this wonderful setting along with my 100th Test.”

In a message of encouragement, Ashwin advised Padikkal not to carry the burden of the illustrious cricketers produced by Karnataka but to cherish the moment, express himself, and make the most of his debut. The heartfelt words from Ashwin captured the essence of the journey, challenges, and triumphs that define a cricketer’s career, making the debut even more significant for Padikkal in the historic Test series.