Hyderabad: With Virat Kohli opting out of the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons, India have called up promising batsman Rajat Patidar as his replacement. Patidar, who recently recovered from an eight-month injury layoff, has already joined the Indian team in Hyderabad and attended the BCCI Annual Awards.
Patidar’s inclusion fills the void in India’s middle-order, with Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul expected to start the first Test. The Madhya Pradesh batsman impressed the selectors with his temperament and ability to bat at No. 4, qualities crucial for success in Test cricket.
His recent form has also bolstered his case. Patidar struck a brilliant 151 for India A against England Lions last week, showcasing his scoring prowess against quality bowling. Additionally, concerns surrounding Abhimanyu Easwaran’s lack of runs in crucial knockout games of the Ranji Trophy paved the way for Patidar’s selection.
This move also means Cheteshwar Pujara, who began the Ranji Trophy with a double century, misses out on a Test call-up. To replace Patidar in the India A squad, Rinku Singh has been included.
Patidar’s selection brings a ray of hope for India as they gear up for the crucial five-match Test series against England. His talent and recent form suggest he could be a valuable asset to the team in Kohli’s absence.
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