Not Pujara Or Sarfaraz Khan, BCCI Names This Player As The Replacement Of Virat Kohli For The First Two Tests Against England

The BCCI selection committee, headed by Ajit Agarkar, put an end to all speculation regarding Virat Kohli’s replacement. The management has included Rajat Patidar in the Indian squad for the first two Tests against England.

Kohli will miss the two matches in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam due to personal reasons. The decision came down to a choice among the veteran Cheteshwar Pujara and the younger options, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, and Rinku Singh. However, it was officially announced on Tuesday night that Patidar will take the place of the former Indian captain.

Rajat Patidar who hails from Madhya Pradesh was seen attending the BCCI annual awards, Naman, along with other Indian team members in Hyderabad. Although he is not expected to make his Test debut on Thursday, with Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul likely to bat in the middle order. The selectors included Patidar in the squad as India lacks another specialist batter in the reserves.

Patidar emerged as the top contender for the spot after delivering impressive performances, including two centuries in his last three innings for India A against the England Lions. His knock of 151 runs in the last four-day game gathered the attention of everyone when every other batter failed to score runs.

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During the Vijay Hazare Trophy last year, Patidar put up a commendable performance, amassing 315 runs in six innings with an impressive average of 52.50 and a strike rate of 104.30. His consistent performances in first-class cricket, with an average of 46 in 55 matches show his potential with the red ball.

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