Vijay Dahiya Praises Rajat Patidar

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The 30-year-old Rajat Patidar has found himself in the Indian Test squad against England, marking a significant milestone in his cricketing journey. While his chances of securing a spot in the playing eleven may seem slim, his inclusion is a testament to the depth and quality of India’s domestic cricket structure in nurturing seasoned professionals.

Patidar’s rise from impressing Chandrakant Pandit in the Ranji Trophy for Madhya Pradesh to holding his own alongside Virat Kohli in high-pressure IPL matches speaks volumes about his consistency and temperament. What sets him apart from other domestic contenders, according to seasoned coach and commentator Vijay Dahiya, is his ability to convert starts into big hundreds.

“Rajat knows how to make big hundreds. It is one thing having the hunger but completely different while executing the plan. If someone is scoring 151 out of a team’s total of 227 (India A vs England Lions), he is an above-average player. He has a lot of time while playing bowlers in the 140-click range because he sees the ball early and plays it late,” Dahiya was quoted as saying by TOI.

Despite not being physically imposing, Patidar’s upright stance and precise understanding of his off-stump make him stand out. Dahiya emphasized the importance of batters having extra time, enabling them to wield a diverse range of strokes.

In the selection debate between Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan, Dahiya explained that despite Sarfaraz having a higher average and more runs per game, Patidar’s proficiency against fast bowling gives him the edge. He also addressed concerns about the impact of excessive domestic cricket on players, noting that exposure to higher levels like the IPL and India A helps them understand the demands of the next tier.

“I agree you don’t mix red ball and white ball game, but IPL gives you an idea of how you fare against top players. Rajat scored a hundred in the IPL play-off in a tricky situation, whereas Sarfaraz’s struggles against quick bowling are for everyone to see,” he added.

As Patidar stands at the threshold of his Test debut, the question of whether he can make a successful transition lingers. Dahiya, however, believes in his potential.

“Rajat is 30 plus, and he knows that unlike a youngster who might have a second coming, this is the only chance he will get if he gets it. He wouldn’t want to waste it. He has the game for the elite level.”

Patidar’s journey serves as a testament to the depth of talent in Indian cricket and the opportunities that exist for players who perform consistently at the domestic level. Whether he can translate his domestic success into a successful international career remains to be seen, but his inclusion in the squad reflects the selectors’ confidence in his abilities.

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