Devdutt Padikkal replaces unfit KL Rahul in the Indian squad for the third test

Team India suffered another big blow as KL Rahul was ruled out of the third test after failing to clear the fitness test. Rohit Sharma-led side is only boosted by the return of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. India will lock horns with England in the third test on February 15, Thursday in Rajkot. The Selection committee led by Ajit Agarkar named Devdutt Padikkal as Rahul’s replacement.

A statement from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) revealed that Rahul has failed to fully recover from the quadriceps strain that ruled him out of the second test. It also added that the wicketkeeper-batter has reached 90 percent of match fitness and is progressing well under the supervision of the BCCI medical team. Rahul is expected to claim his spot in the playing XI of the fourth and fifth tests.

Padikkal smashed 151 off 218 balls in an Elite Group C Ranji Trophy encounter against Tamil Nadu in Chennai, in front of Ajit Agarkar, the chairman of selectors. The former India bowler was in the grandstand, taking notes on the 23-year-old batter’s blistering performance against a good bowling attack that included Sandeep Warrier, Sai Kishore, and Vijay Shankar.

Padikkal struck 12 fours and 6 sixes in his vital knock, allowing Karnataka to post 366 and finally giving them enough runs to take a three-point lead in the first innings. Padikkal has been in tremendous form in this Ranji Trophy season, notching up three centuries in four matches, and has amassed 556 runs at a stunning average of 92.66. The young cricketer has surely started to make it count in red-ball cricket.