Karnataka batsman Devdutt Padikkal expressed his joy after overcoming challenges and receiving a call-up to the Indian Test squad for the 3rd India vs England Test in Rajkot. The 23-year-old was named as a replacement for KL Rahul, who is still recovering from a quadriceps injury sustained in the 1st IND vs ENG Test. Padikkal’s selection follows his impressive performance in the Ranji Trophy, where he scored a remarkable 151 in the first innings of Karnataka’s closely contested match against Tamil Nadu.
Padikkal played a pivotal role in Karnataka’s performance, contributing significantly to the team’s achievement of securing crucial points with a draw against the host team at Chepauk. Batting at No. 3, the left-handed batter showcased his prowess by scoring 151 runs in the first innings and a valuable 36 runs in the second innings. His consistent performance in red-ball cricket throughout the ongoing season has been noteworthy.
‘Test Team Is Always A Dream’
After receiving his maiden Test call-up, Padikkal expressed his pride in the effort he put in, particularly considering the challenges he faced with a stomach issue during the 2022-23 season. Padikkal revealed that he had been frequently falling ill, leading to a significant weight loss of 10 kilos while battling the illness.
“The call-up is yet to sink in. The Test team is always a dream, and this has come after a tough few years. I feel very proud that all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off. Can’t thank my family and well-wishers enough for sticking by me,” Devdutt Padikkal told The Times of India.
“Returning from the illness was very tough. The biggest challenge was to get physically fit. I had lost 10 kilos and I had to eat right and concentrate on regaining muscle and strength. At this stage of my career every match counts and here I was missing a lot of games,” he added.
‘I Enjoy Whatever Opportunities I Get’
Devdutt Padikkal, known for his proficiency as a top-order batsman and securing the No. 3 position for Karnataka, expressed his willingness to bat anywhere for the national side. Despite his primary role, the left-hander conveyed his flexibility in adapting to different batting positions. In the current Ranji Trophy season, Padikkal has been in outstanding form, amassing 556 runs in four games with an impressive average of 92.66, including three centuries.
“I enjoy whatever opportunities I get. While each batting position comes with its challenges, I’m up for it because that’s going to help me grow as a cricketer. It’s part of my learning process,” said Padikkal.
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