Rajat Patidar named Kohli’s replacement for the first two Tests against England

In a significant development, Rajat Patidar has earned a spot in the Indian squad for the initial two Tests against England. His inclusion comes on the back of Virat Kohli’s decision to step away from the first two Tests due to personal commitments. The eagerly anticipated five-match Test series is scheduled to commence on January 25 in Hyderabad. This move has stirred conversations in the cricketing circles, as few other names were in contention.

In a strategic move, the right-handed batter’s selection implies a current preference away from Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, prolonging the wait for Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan. Today, Rinku Singh’s inclusion in the India A squad for the second multi-day match against England Lions has set the stage for Patidar’s elevation to the senior side.

He showcased commendable form, notably scoring 151 against England Lions for India A in the first innings of the opening unofficial Test. Hailing from Indore, the batter also notched up a solid 111 in the warm-up game against the Lions and had previously been part of the A team during the South Africa tour last year. It’s noteworthy that Rinku Singh’s recent addition to the A squad for the final two matches against England Lions on Tuesday paved the way for the RCB batter’s call-up to the senior squad. Singh boasts an impressive track record, amassing 4000 runs in 55 first-class fixtures, boasting an average of 45.97, including 12 centuries, with a highest score of 196.

Rajat Patidar exudes potential in his brief international outing

Having marked his international debut in the 3rd ODI against South Africa in Paarl, the 30-year-old opened the innings alongside Sai Sudharsan and contributed 22 runs off 16 deliveries – a brisk innings that featured three boundaries and a maximum. Despite his initial appearance as an opener, if given the nod for his Test debut in the upcoming clash against England in Hyderabad, Patidar is likely to take up a position in the middle order.

The Madhya Pradesh batter first caught the cricketing spotlight with his standout performance in the IPL 2022, amassing 333 runs in seven innings at an impressive average of 55.50 and a striking rate of 152.75. His memorable century against the Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator, where he scored 112 off 54 deliveries, played a pivotal role in propelling the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a victorious total.