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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  IND vs ENG: Devdutt Padikkal set for debut as KL Rahul doubtful for 5th Test, says report
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IND vs ENG: Devdutt Padikkal set for debut as KL Rahul doubtful for 5th Test, says report

IND vs ENG 5th Test: Devdutt Padikkal set to debut in final Test against England in Dharamsala as KL Rahul's availability uncertain due to injury.

File image: Devdutt Padikkal attends a practice session at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on February 14, 2024, Premium
File image: Devdutt Padikkal attends a practice session at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on February 14, 2024,

Devdutt Padikkal is likely to make his debut in the last Test match against England in Dharamsala as KL Rahul is unlikely to be available, BCCI source said as reported by Hindustan Times. India is set to lock horns with England in the fifth and last match, starting from 7 March in Dharamsala.

"Padikkal will make his debut in Dharamsala. Rahul is unlikely to be available and the team management wants to have a look at Padikkal as it is the last international fixture before the IPL," BCCI source told HT.

With nearly a month now, there has been uncertainty around India's wicketkeeper batter KL Rahul's fitness and his participation in the final Test of the series against England as well as in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) as the player is still recovering from a quadricep tendon injury. 

As per ESPNcricinfo report, Rahul is now in London to visit a doctor about his injury, which has kept him out of the second, third, and fourth Tests against England after he played the series opener in Hyderabad. Since complaining of stiffness in the quadriceps during the Hyderabad Test, Rahul even after attaining "90% match fitness and progressing well" could not play second, third and fourth Tests against England after he played the first Test. Rahul's chances of appearing in the final Test will depend on his chances of regaining fitness before the clash.

Also Read: Will ODIs 50-over format be changed to 40-over? Here's what ICC has to say

However, if Rahul doesn't regain his full fitness by the weekend, the selectors may have to continue with Rajat Patidar in the squad along with Devdutt Padikkal as “the team management needs an extra batter in the team as a concussion substitute," a source was quoted as saying by The Times of India. The report added that the selectors want to release Patidar from the India Test squad, so that he may play the Ranji Trophy semi-final for Madhya Pradesh against Vidarbha on March 2.

Speaking of Patidar performance in the Test match, his highest score is 32 and he has already registered two ducks.

Also Read: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja in Grade A+ category under BCCI's annual contract for 2023-24

“Ideally, the team management would want to see Patidar go back to play the Ranji semifinal and find some form. But that depends on Rahul’s availability. If Rahul is unavailable, he may be asked to stay with the team. Even if Devdutt Padikkal makes his debut in the last Test, the team management needs an extra batter in the team as a concussion substitute," a source was quoted as saying by TOI.

Also Read: Will Rohit Sharma choose Dhruv Jurel, the hero of Ranchi Test, after Rishabh Pant comes back?

On spculation of Rahul missing the IPL, his team Lucknow Super Giants (IPL) are aware of his improvement and confident about the captain's availability for the competition, which begins on March 22, according to ESPNcricinfo report. In the IPL,  The Lucknow Super Giants will play their debut match on 24 March at Jaipur against Rajasthan Royals.

Also Read: BCCI terminates central contracts of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. Check full contract list here

Last year, KL Rahul underwent surgery after "ripping apart the tendon from quadriceps" during fielding in an IPL match against RCB in May 2023. He then not just the rest of the IPL season, but also the World Test Championship final which was held in June. Rahul then made a fine recovery, leaving his stamp of dominance in the Asia Cup and subsequently the World Cup 2023.

(With inputs from ANI)

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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 01:25 PM IST
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