Rajat Patidar replaces Virat Kohli for the first two Tests against England


The first battle of the five-match Test series between India and England begins today (January 25), 9:30 AM at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Rohit Sharma-led team will rely on spinners to work their magic on turning surfaces against England, while premier batters will also be expected to perform well in the absence of veteran Virat Kohli. With Kohli only available after the first two games, India has added Rajat Patidar to its roster for the first two Tests on Wednesday.

Patidar has earned his spot in India’s squad for the England series following his outstanding performance against the England Lions. The 30-year-old righthanded batter was in Ahmedabad to play for the India-A side against the England Lions. Patidar scored a brilliant 151 from 158 balls in the first four-day match against the England Lions.

Speaking on the eve of the Test series opener, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma revealed why Patidar replaced Kohli. All these younger players, when are they going to get their opportunity? That’s something we thought, and I thought as well, Rohit said. Sometimes you have to bring certain players into your set-up as well. You have to give them favorable conditions as you don’t want to expose them on foreign doors, where they’ve not played before, Rohit expressed.

So, I think it’s important that we try and get some of these youngsters an opportunity. By no means, the doors are closed for senior batters like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, as long as they stay fit and keep scoring runs. Anyone will be welcomed back into the setup, Rohit concluded.

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