IND vs ENG: Who has replaced KL Rahul in India squad for 3rd test in Rajkot ?
KL Rahul has not yet fully recovered from his injury and will miss the third test against England in Rajkot.
India have suffered a major setback ahead of the third test against England in Rajkot. KL Rahul, who missed the second test due to quadriceps injury, has been ruled out of the third test. KL Rahul was named in the India squad for last three tests against England, but his selection was subject to fitness. He needed clearance from the BCCI medical team to make it to the playing XI, but he has not been cleared of his fitness.
Now the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named his replacement for the upcoming test against England in Rajkot. KL Rahul will stay back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to complete his rehab and then join back the Indian squad once he gets clearance. Ahead of the third test in Rajkot, the BCCI in a media release, stated that KL Rahul has reached 90 per cent of his match fitness and will continue his recovery process at the NCA to be completely match-fit for the final two tests of the series.
“Mr. Rahul has reached 90 per cent of match fitness and is progressing well under the supervision of the BCCI Medical Team. He will continue his recovery process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to be completely match-fit for the fourth and fifth Test.” BCCI stated in a media release.
Devdutt Padikkal announced as replacement
In the same media release, the BCCI also announced Karnataka batter Devdutt Padikkal as KL Rahul’s replacement. This is the first time Padikkal has earned national test call-up. The BCCI stated, “The Men’s Selection Committee named Devdutt Padikkal as KL Rahul’s replacement for the third Test, starting February 15, 2024.”
Left-hand batter Padikkal has hit four centuries in last six First Class (FC) matches. He scored three in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2023-24 while playing for Karnataka and the other came against England Lions while playing for India A in the unofficial test series in Ahmedabad.
In the ongoing Ranji season, Padikkal notched up 556 runs in just six innings at an average of 92.66. In the unofficial tests against England Lions, Padikkal scored 191 runs in three innings. Padikkal has so far played 31 FC matches and score 2227 runs at an average of 44.54 including six centuries and 12 fifties.
With Virat Kohli pulling out of remainder of the series and KL Rahul being unavailable for the third test in Rajkot will open doors for both of Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar get selected in the playing XI. Sarfaraz missed out on selection in the second test in Vizag when the team management preferred Rajat Patidar over the Mumbaikar. The third test against England will begin on 15th February in Rajkot.
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