ANI Photo | “I won’t be surprised if Rajat Patidar plays”: Akash Chopra ahead of Dharamshala Test

Amid speculations around the playing eleven that India should go with in the fifth and final Test against England in Dharamshala, former cricketer Aakash Chopra on Tuesday said he reckoned that middle-order batsman Rajat Patidar will get another look-in for the hosts.
Before the series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Patidar, a prolific scorer in domestic and A-tours, as the replacement for the talismanic Virat Kohli, who missed the series for ‘personal reasons’. However, after a promising innings in his debut Test, the batter failed to make a mark in the ongoing five-match Test series against the Englishmen.
Speaking on his official YouTube channel, Chopra said the fifth Test match could be Patidar’s final opportunity to seal his place in the Indian middle-order in red-ball cricket.
“Reports suggest Rajat Patidar will play and I can probably understand. The team is saying that they have played him three matches, so he can play one more and that this could be his final opportunity,” Chopra said.
With the hosts already holding an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, the 46-year-old added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Patidar was included in India’s playing eleven for the Dharamshala Test.
“If they don’t play him and play Devdutt, and if he has a bad match, they won’t be able to judge him as well, and might also feel they didn’t give full chances to Rajat. I won’t be surprised if Rajat Patidar plays. However, if he is dropped, still I won’t be surprised. It’s a judgment call for the team management. They can’t be criticized whichever way they go,” the former India opener added.
England lost three matches in succession after scoring a famous victory against the odds in the opening Test in Hyderabad.
While the ongoing series has been settled in favour of the hosts, both India and England have a lot to gain from the series in terms of the World Test Championship (WTC) points.
India are currently on top of the World Test Championship standings with a points percentage of 64.58 while England are languishing in the eighth position, in desperate need of a lift. (ANI)

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