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IND vs ENG 1st Test: Why did India select Rajat Patidar to fill in for Virat Kohli? Rohit Sharma opens up

IND vs ENG 1st Test: Virat Kohli's absence from the first two Tests against England opened the doors for Rajat Patidar to earn his maiden Test call-up. India captain Rohit Sharma opened up on the thinking process behind picking Kohli's replacement.

Written By: Varun Malik @varunm0212 New Delhi Published on: January 24, 2024 14:25 IST
Virat Kohli IND vs ENG Tests
Image Source : GETTY Virat Kohli.

IND vs ENG 1st Test: The Indian cricket team is gearing up for the five-match Test series against Ben Stokes' England as Rohit's men embark on a long Test series at home. However, ahead of the series opener in Hyderabad, India were inflicted with the news that Virat Kohli will be missing out on the first two of the five Tests due to 'personal reasons'. 

Announcing a replacement, the Indian Board has called Madhya Pradesh's Rajat Patidar, who has received his maiden Test call-up. Patidar was in brilliant touch for India A against England Lions as he scored 151 and 111 in a practice and an unofficial Test. This seemingly paved the way for his entry into the Indian team, leapfrogging the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane

Now the Indian captain Rohit Sharma has opened up on what was the thought process of going for Patidar to fill in for Kohli. "We thought of going back to an experienced player to fill Kohli's absence but then when will we give the youngsters the chance as we don't want them to be exposed directly in foreign countries," Rohit said in a pre-match press conference on Wednesday. 

The likes of Pujara and Rahane have been out of the Indian team for a few time now. While Pujara last played for India in the World Test Championship final, Rahane's last outing for the Men in Blue came against West Indies when he was also the vice-captain of the team.

The India vs England series begins with the first game at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on January 25. The second Test of the series will be played from February 2 at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam, followed by the third one from February 15 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot. The series will then move to Ranchi for the 4th game from February 23 at the JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi, followed by the final one at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala from March 7 onwards.

India squad for first two Tests:

Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rajat Patidar, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan


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