Devdutt Padikkal replaces KL Rahul for third IND-ENG Test

India have been dealt yet another huge blow as their middle-order batter KL Rahul has been ruled out of the upcoming third Test against England and has been replaced by Devdutt Padikkal. He was ruled out of the second Test due to a quadriceps injury and now he has been forced to be on the sidelines due to a sore knee.

Earlier he was included in the squad for the last three Tests subject to clearance from the medical team. BCCI has announced Devdutt Padikkal as his replacement in the squad only for the third Test. The board also released an official statement giving an update on Rahul’s injury while also mentioning that the cricketer will be completely fit for the fourth and fifth Test.

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“KL Rahul, whose availability for the remaining three Tests was subject to fitness, has been ruled out of the third Test against England in Rajkot. 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,” a statement from BCCI read.

Another player who will also play only after clearance from the medical team is Ravindra Jadeja who sustained a hamstring injury and like Rahul, was ruled out of the second Test too. With Rahul ruled out, the toss-up now for the middle-order slot is between Sarfaraz Khan and Devdutt Padikkal.

Devdutt Padikkal gets maiden call-up

KL Rahul has been ruled out of the upcoming third Test against England and has been replaced by Devdutt Padikkal
Photo: Twitter

The former is already part of the squad while this is a maiden Test call-up for Padikkal who has been plundering runs in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season. He has so far scored 556 runs in six innings at an average of 92.66 this season with three centuries to his name. The left-hander is also fresh off a 151-run knock against Tamil Nadu in a match that ended in a draw on Monday (February 12). 

Moreover, he also impressed while playing for India A against England Lions in Ahmedabad with scores of 65, 21 and 105. As far as Padikkal’s first-class career is concerned, he averages 44.54 in 31 matches of the red-ball format and has also played two T20Is for India, both against Sri Lanka in July 2021. 

Meanwhile, India will be extremely thin on experience in the middle-order especially since Jadeja is also not cleared to play. While Shubman Gill has just returned to form at number three, Patidar will bat at four while Sarfaraz might make his debut, going by the pecking order, and will bat at five.

It also remains to be seen if India will drop Kuldeep Yadav again if Ravindra Jadeja gets fully fit. Two full days of training sessions are still left for the hosts to take a call on their playing XI.

India’s Updated squad for third Test: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja*, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal.


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