Ahead of the second Test against England, India batter Rajat Patidar said that receiving his maiden Test call-up is the happiest moment of his life, and he also spoke about observing and learning from senior batters Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
India, 1-0 down in the five-match series, will take on England in the second Test at Visakhapatnam on Friday. With KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja out due to injuries and Virat missing the first two Tests due to personal reasons, Patidar could make his Test debut for India.
“Whenever a player gets injured, it becomes difficult for him. I told myself that I cannot change my recovery time, kept myself in the present and accepted it. Returning from injury, getting my first Test call-up is the happiest moment for me, because it was my dream to play Tests for India. I received the call while playing for India A,” said Patidar in a video posted by BCCI.
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Patidar said that he has been communicating well with head coach Rahul Dravid and also discusses batting with skipper Rohit in the nets.
Patidar, an aggressive batter, is trying to implement the elements of the veteran’s game into his.
“My batting style is aggressive and have played like this since my domestic cricket days. This is my habit, it is about preparing well. How opponents bowl, their bowlers, field placements and how players like Rohit tackle it, I try to add it into my game. That is my only focus,” said Patidar.
Patidar also admitted that he enjoys watching Virat bat, especially his footwork and body movements. The 35-year-old superstar batter is also Patidar’s teammate in his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
“I always observe Virat Bhai’s batting from the back of the nets – especially his footwork and body movements while batting – I enjoy watching him bat a lot”. I try to add it to my game,” said Patidar.
Summing up all his emotions in a word, Patidar said that he is “excited” to play a Test for India.
Patidar has featured in one ODI for India, against South Africa in December last year, where he scored 22 runs in 16 balls and impressed with his strokeplay.
In the ongoing series of three unofficial Tests against England Lions happening side-by-side of the bilateral series between India-England senior sides, Patidar has been in a fine form, scoring 111 in the first game while 151 and 4 came in the second game.
Patidar has been a star for India in the domestic circuit, especially in first-class cricket. Representing Madhya Pradesh, he has scored 4,000 runs in 55 FC matches at an average of 45.97, with 12 centuries and 22 fifties in 93 innings. His best score is 196.
Patidar was also instrumental in MP’s first-ever Ranji Trophy title win in 2021-22, scoring 658 runs in six matches at an average of 53.15. He scored two centuries and five fifties in nine innings and ended as the second-highest run-scorer next to Sarfaraz Khan (982 runs in six matches), who has also been selected for the second Test in the absence of KL and Jadeja.
India’s updated Squad for 2nd Test vs England: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar, Sourabh Kumar. (ANI)