IND vs ENG | Devdutt Padikkal replaces KL Rahul for third Test after complains of sore knee

IND vs ENG | Devdutt Padikkal replaces KL Rahul for third Test after complains of sore knee

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Neither of KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, or Shreyas Iyer will be a part of the Indian lineup in the third Test



Indian veteran KL Rahul has been ruled out of the third Test beginning February 15, having also missed the previous encounter with quadriceps pain. His replacement Devdutt Padikkal has enjoyed a blistering start to the latest red-ball season and may slot into the middle order in Rajkot.

‌The absence of KL Rahul comes at an unfortunate time for the Men in Blue given their inability to bank on either Virat Kohli or Shreyas Iyer for the upcoming encounter. Kohli withdrew from the remainder of the series due to personal reasons after having been previously expected to join the squad for the third Test while Iyer was omitted from the setup after a series of lean scores over the past year.

The latest call-up Devdutt Padikkal is anticipated to compete with Sarfaraz Khan for a maiden Test cap in Rajkot after the latter was added as cover for Rahul ahead of the second Test. Padikkal has already struck three centuries for Karnataka in the ongoing Ranji Trophy across four matches at an average of 109.33 while producing scores of 105, 65, and 21 in two unofficial Tests against England A. However, the 23-year-old frequents the number three position where Shubman Gill is already a lock-in which might tilt the scales in Sarfaraz's favour given his natural batting position of number five. There also exists a scenario wherein both batters make their debuts simultaneously should India opt to increase their batting depth at the cost of Kuldeep Yadav since Ravindra Jadeja's participation in the third Test remains a question.

Meanwhile, Rahul's injury practically confirms Rajat Patidar retaining his place in the lineup after the Madhya Pradesh batter earned his cap in Vishakhapatnam where he managed scores of 32 and 9.

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