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No luck for Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar set for maiden Test call-up in IND vs ENG series

No luck for Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar set for maiden Test call-up in IND vs ENG series

BCCI Selection committee has overlooked Sarfaraz Khan again in favour of Rajat Patidar in IND vs ENG series as Virat Kohli replacement.

How long is too long and what else Sarfaraz Khan needs to do? Ajit Agarkar-led BCCI selection committee will have to answer that to India’s best domestic performer Sarfaraz. The reason? Rajat Patidar is set for his maiden Test call-up in IND vs ENG Test series as per a Cricbuzz report. He comes in as a replacement for Virat Kohli for the first two Tests. Kohli pulled out for personal reasons.

On the South Africa tour, Patidar made his ODI debut, playing just one game. While fans may ask why not Sarfaraz, Rajat Patidar has also made his claim. The 30-year-old Madhya Pradesh batter has been in fine form since his return from long-term injury.

He further boosted his claims for a spot in IND vs ENG Test series with two centuries against England Lions for India A. In the two-day practice match, Rajat Patidar slammed 111 opening the batting. He then followed it up with 151 in the four-day unofficial Test, batting at No 3. Patidar averages 45.97 in First Class after 55 matches including 12 centuries.

Will Rajat Patidar make Test debut?

However, as things stand, he only comes in as a backup. Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul will occupy No 4 and No 5 slots with KS Bharat keeping wickets. India head coach Rahul Dravid already confirmed that KL Rahul won’t keep wickets in the IND vs ENG 1st Test at least. Hence, Rajat Patidar will have to wait for his chance.

But it also means the wait only grows longer for Sarfaraz Khan, who has been waiting for a call-up for the last three years.

On the South Africa tour with India A, Sarfaraz Khan scored 68 against South Africa A. Against England Lions, he hit 96 and 55. But it was Ranji Trophy where he scored tons of runs. He scored 982 runs in 2022 and 556 runs in just nine innings the next season. In fact, in 44 first-class matches, Sarfaraz Khan has averaged 68.20 including 13 centuries. However, it’s clearly not enough to impress the selectors.

Patidar’s call-up also means that the selectors are not looking back at Cheteshwar Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane despite their vast experience.

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