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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Devdutt Padikkal's roller-coaster journey to Test debut

Devdutt Padikkal's roller-coaster journey to Test debut

By REDIFF CRICKET
March 08, 2024 17:45 IST
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Devdutt Padikkal

IMAGE: Devdutt Padikkal celebrates his half century. Photograph: BCCI

In a remarkable turn of events, Devdutt Padikkal has not only overcome the setbacks of an unexpected intestinal illness that disrupted his promising career in 2022 but has also made a stunning debut in Test cricket for India.

Padikkal's journey to this point has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. Battling health issues and enduring a challenging phase in the 2023 IPL season, where he faced additional setbacks due to a thumb fracture during the Deodhar Trophy, Padikkal's resilience has been truly commendable.

 

The 23-year-old's Test debut against England at HPCA, Dharamsala, proved to be a turning point in his career. He exuded confidence, crafting a stylish 65 runs adorned with 10 fours and a six, marking a memorable maiden fifty.

Devdutt Padikkal

IMAGE: Devdutt Padikkal's contribution to India's innings is a testament to his newfound form and confidence. Photograph: BCCI

Coming in at a crucial juncture after the quick dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, Padikkal displayed both composure and skill to score a fine half-century, featuring 10 boundaries and a six.

His partnership with Sarfaraz Khan further solidified India's position in the fifth and final Test against England.

Padikkal's contribution to India's innings, reaching past the 400-run mark, is a testament to his newfound form and confidence.

The left-handed batter showcased his exceptional skills, particularly drawing praise for his splendid cover drives, with cricket pundits like Nick Knight expressing admiration for the elegance of his shots.

Devdutt Padikkal

IMAGE: Devdutt Padikkal's partnership with Sarfaraz Khan further solidified India's position in the fifth and final Test against England. Photograph: BCCI

Knight remarked, "Devdutt Padikkal has one of the most glorious off-drives I have seen in recent times. I've got to admit, though, with the first five or 10-15 minutes, I was a bit concerned about the bodyweight being back, and he hit one or two in the air through covers. Now I think, since he's got in and his footwork's become crisper, we're back to what I thought I saw before he started this innings."

Reflecting on Padikkal's Test match debut, Knight added, "So really good signs. And let's face it, you're on Test match debut. Your footwork's not as crisp. I think there was a little bit of that in it, perhaps a little bit here rather than being there. But I thought it was a really impressive debut so far."

The southpaw's success in the Ranji Trophy has been duly rewarded with a Test debut, marking a significant turnaround from the challenges he faced not too long ago.

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