Devdutt Padikkal Set to Debut in 5th Test Against England

Devdutt Padikkal Set to Debut in 5th Test Against England


In a significant development ahead of the fifth and final Test match between India and England in Dharamsala, young batting sensation Devdutt Padikkal is set to make his Test debut, replacing the under-performing Rajat Patidar. The change comes as KL Rahul remains unfit to play, dealing a blow to India’s batting lineup.

Padikkal’s inclusion in the playing XI is a testament to his impressive form and consistency in domestic cricket. The 23-year-old left-hander has been in stellar form, scoring 556 runs at an average of 92.66 in four matches this season. His recent performances include a match-winning 151 against Tamil Nadu in Chennai and a century for India A against England Lions.

Rahul’s absence from the squad is a result of his ongoing recovery from a quadriceps injury, which has kept him out of action since the series opener in Hyderabad. Despite his efforts to regain fitness, Rahul’s chances of playing in the fifth Test are slim, prompting the selectors to opt for Padikkal as his replacement.

The decision to include Padikkal was made after careful consideration by the selection committee, headed by Ajit Agarkar, and in consultation with head coach Rahul Dravid, the coaching staff, and captain Rohit Sharma. Padikkal’s selection is seen as a strategic move to assess his readiness for the international stage ahead of the upcoming IPL 2024 season.

Rajat Patidar, who made his Test debut in the second Test in Vizag, failed to capitalize on his opportunity, scoring just 31 runs in five innings. With Madhya Pradesh’s Ranji Trophy semi-final match against Vidarbha approaching, the selectors have decided to release Patidar from the squad to allow him to focus on regaining his form in domestic cricket.

Padikkal’s debut adds to the list of Indian cricketers who have made their Test debuts in the ongoing series, including keeper Dhurv Jurel, batter Sarfaraz Khan, and fast bowler Akash Deep. His inclusion is a testament to the depth of talent in Indian cricket and the opportunities available for young players to showcase their skills at the highest level.

The fifth Test between India and England is scheduled to begin on March 7 in Dharamsala, with both teams looking to end the series on a high note. Padikkal’s debut will be a momentous occasion for the talented youngster, who will be eager to make a mark and cement his place in the Indian Test team.

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