30-year-old Madhya Pradesh batsman Rajat Patidar was given his debut Test cap by former India pacer Zaheer Khan ahead of the 2nd India vs England Test match on Friday in Visakhapatnam.
Rajat Patidar was called into the Test squad after Virat Kohli pulled out from the first two Tests due to personal reasons. He got the nod ahead of Sarfaraz Khan to replace the injured KL Rahul in Visakhapatnam; it was very much expected because Sarfaraz had come into the squad as an injury replacement of Rahul and was behind Patidar in the pecking order.
Rajat Patidar had helped Madhya Pradesh win the Ranji Trophy 2022 title, but his 2023 was marred by an Achilles injury that needed surgery in London. He rocked back to red-ball cricket on a resounding note, slamming 111 and 151 against England Lions, which got him a call-up to the squad ahead of Sarfaraz, who currently averages 69 in first-class cricket and 82 since 2020.
Stats, numbers, and records of Rajat Patidar in first-class cricket:
Since making his first-class debut in 2015, Rajat Patidar has featured in 45 FC games, in which he amassed 4000 runs at an average of 45. The right-hander has brought up 12 centuries and 22 fifties in his FC career so far.
Patidar has batted most of his career at numbers 3 and 4 for Madhya Pradesh, which is believed to be a key factor in his selection over Sarfaraz.
He averages 36 in List-A cricket and 37 in T20 cricket, which includes a sensational century in IPL 2022 playoffs for RCB against LSG at the Eden Gardens. Patidar made his ODI debut in South Africa last year.
Speaking on the eve of the Vizag Test, Rajat Patidar said, “Getting a call-up [to the Test team] so soon after recovering from the injury is my happiest moment, because my biggest dream was always to play Test cricket for my country. So when the call came, I was very happy. I was with India A, and was happy that what I had dreamed of had happened.”
That Test Debut feeling 😃👌
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 2, 2024