Rahul had earlier missed the second Test in Visakhapatnam due to a quadriceps injury and was included in the squad for the last three Tests only subject to fitness. *A BCCI statement on Monday night said he has “achieved 90 per cent match fitness” and will “continue his recovery process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to be fully fit.” form for the fourth and fifth tests”. “.
Apart from that, it is yet to be confirmed whether Ravindra Jadeja has recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained during the first Test in Hyderabad. Jadeja is in the call to compete in the third test, which will be played in her field, but her participation is pending physical authorization.
He was also part of the parallel tour to South Africa with India A in December, where he had the opportunity to train alongside India’s Test regulars ahead of an intra-team match.
Having started as an opener, Padikkal has slowly transitioned into a predominantly senior role that requires him to bat at No. 3, and sometimes even at No. 4, for Karnataka. With Mayank Agarwal and R Samarth opening the innings for his state team, Padikkal has established himself further down the line. This change in role is something he has learned to accept after a lackluster IPL in 2023 for Rajasthan Royals. The turning point, he said, was his move to Lucknow Super Giants, where he will play with none other than Rahul.
“I no longer see him simply as a starter,” he had said. “I’m enjoying my opportunities, wherever they are. Every batting position offers a different challenge. I’m trying to learn new things, [and] adapt to situations. It helps me grow as a cricketer, [and] It helps me understand the game a lot more, not only in terms of my hitting but [also] how the game works in the different phases”.
Overall, Padikkal has solid first-class credentials, averaging 44.54 in 31 matches. He has played two T20Is for India, both against Sri Lanka in July 2021.
In Visakhapatnam, India made their Test debut to Rajat Patidar. Sarfaraz Khan is the other uncapped batsman in the mix along with Padikkal. Jadeja’s possible unavailability could well pave the way for another Test debutant in Rajkot. It is also likely that India could still pick one of Sarfaraz and Padikkal even if Jadeja is available and they play their usual three spinners and two quicks.
India have two full days of training before Rajkot, with the series tied 1-1.
India team for the 3rd Test: Rohit Sharma (captain), Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), KS Bharat (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal.
GMT 1450 hrs. This story was updated with information from a BCCI press release.