Rajat Patidar has opened up on his maiden India call-up, stating his maiden century in the Indian Premier League changed things for him. He went on to talk about his relationship with compatriot Dinesh Karthik and the experience of playing alongside the likes of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli.
Rajat Patidar was recently included in the Indian squad for the first time for the three-match ODI series against South Africa beginning October 6 in Lucknow. The 29-year-old has been in stellar form of late, scoring two centuries against New Zealand A across three first-class games, after having starred for Madhya Pradesh in their Ranji Trophy-winning campaign. However, the batter first shot into the mainstream while impressing at Royal Challengers Bangalore even as experienced batters around him struggled.
All his talent culminated in a breakthrough knock against the Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League eliminator, where Patidar scored his maiden T20 ton in some style. The right-handed batter reached the landmark in just 48 deliveries and ended up unbeaten on 112 to secure his team's progression to the next encounter.
"That IPL knock was a turning point for me. All this feels like a dream to me," Patidar was quoted saying by India Today.
Patidar's knock featured a flamboyant 92-run partnership off just 41 balls alongside Dinesh Karthik as well, as the duo steered their team to a total of 207. The wicket-keeper, who has gone on to cement his spot in the Men in Blue's T20I side, had tweeted congratulations to Patidar when his selection to India's squad was announced stating he deserved the call-up.
"I saw his tweet congratulating me. That tweet made me feel very happy and helped me build confidence because I've played in the IPL with Dinesh Karthik. He's like an idol for me. He's been playing for India for so many years and seeing him tweet about me, made me feel really good," Patidar raved.
"AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli are also my idols. Players like these are big international cricketers. I was very nervous the first time I saw them, but they approached me themselves, which was another great moment for me," Patidar concluded.