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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Padikkal 5th Debutant In Series!

Padikkal 5th Debutant In Series!

By REDIFF CRICKET
March 07, 2024 10:32 IST
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The last time India fielded five or more debutants in a Test series was during the 1996 tour of England when current Head Coach Rahul Dravid, Batting Coach Vikram Rathour, Bowling Coach Paras Mhambrey all made their debuts along with Sourav Ganguly, Venkatesh Prasad and Sunil Joshi.

IMAGE: Devdutt Padikkal with his India Test cap in Dharamsala on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Photographs: BCCI
 

Karnataka's young batter Devdutt Padikkal made his Test debut against England in the fifth and final match at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala on Thursday.

Padikkal is the fifth debutant for India in the series after Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel and Akash Deep.

Padikkal was called up to the team to replace Patidar, who was ruled out of the Test with injury after he hit on his left ankle during a practice session on Wednesday.

The left-hander has been in superb form in domestic cricket. He was Karnataka's top run-scorer in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament with 465 runs in five innings and followed it up with 556 runs in four matches in the Ranji Trophy at an average of 92, with three centuries.

He continued his good form for India 'A' with scores 65, 21, and 105 against the England Lions which convinced the selectors he was ready to take the step up.

IMAGE: Devdutt Padikkal is presented with his 100th Test cap by Ravichandran Ashwin, who is playing his 100th Test. Photograph: BCCI

Not so long ago, an unexpected intestinal illness had disrupted his promising career as hospital visits replaced his time on the field, causing him to miss the entire 2022 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He struggled with the bat in Ranji Trophy matches, scoring just 260 runs in five games and he could manage just 260 runs for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2023.

A thumb fracture during the Deodhar Trophy added another layer to his challenges, sidelining him from both the tournament and the Maharaja KSCA T20 Trophy.

Padikkal, who shares his birthday with the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni on July 7, showed great determination to get things right in the 2023-2024 season as he put in the hard work in the nets and the results have been there for everyone to see!

With 31 first-class matches under his belt, he holds a solid average of 44.54, showcasing his consistency over the years.

He becomes India's 314th Test player.

The last time India fielded five or more debutants in a Test series was during the 1996 tour of England when current Head Coach Rahul Dravid, Batting Coach Vikram Rathour, Bowling Coach Paras Mhambrey all made their debuts along with Sourav Ganguly, Venkatesh Prasad and Sunil Joshi.

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