Cricket
KL Rahul vs Devdutt Padikkal: Battle of Kannadigas for No 4 slot in 5th Test

KL Rahul vs Devdutt Padikkal: Battle of Kannadigas for No 4 slot in 5th Test

Struggling Rajat Patidar faces axe if KL Rahul is fully fit but if he is unfit Devdutt Padikkal could make debut in IND vs ENG 5th Test.

As India Cricket Team head to a short break before reassembling in Dharamsala for the IND vs ENG 5th Test, eyes will be on two Kannadigas: KL Rahul and Devdutt Padikkal. It’s still unclear whether KL Rahul will be fit in time for the 5th Test. He has been 90% fit since the end of 2nd Test. But should he miss out once again, another Kannadiga Devdutt Padikkal could get the nod in place of struggling Rajat Patidar.

If KL Rahul is fit, he is an automatic choice to replace Rajat Patidar. At No 4, Patidar has drawn a blank in the IND vs ENG Test series. However, it remains the question whether India should risk Rahul in an inconsequential match in Dharamsala.

Rajat Patidar struggles

Fans and the team management had high hopes on Rajat Patidar. The Madhya Pradesh batter showed great form in domestic cricket as well as in the India A vs England Lions series.

However, in the six Test innings, he has scores of 32, 9, 5, 0, 17, 0. Barring the 32 he scored on debut, Patidar never looked confident.

There is a slight chance that the team management could give him another nod in the dead rubber. But dropping him from the squad cannot be ruled out either.

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KL Rahul vs Devdutt Padikkal

However, should KL Rahul fail to regain fitness, focus will be on Devdutt Padikkal.

The young Karnataka batter has returned to his best form in domestic cricket. Padikkal slammed 556 runs at an average of 92.67 average in Ranji Trophy. But he had to cut short the campaign after receiving a call-up for the IND vs ENG Test series as backup for R Ashwin.

In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Padikkal scored 465 runs in five matches. He had an average of 155 including two centuries and three fifties.

While he did not get a call-up for the India A vs England Lions series, he continued to perform in the Ranji Trophy.

Now with India already sealing IND vs ENG Test series 3-1, it could be a great opportunity to hand debut to a fifth player.

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