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‘If Rajat Patidar’s attitude…’: AB de Villiers’ straight-up expectations from Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid

AB de Villiers made a very interesting point about Rajat Patidar and how Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma might handle him.

India’s five-match Test series against England has thus far belonged to debutants. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have handed debuts to four cricketers in four Tests – Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel and Akash Deep – with fifth likely to be handed out at Dharamsala in the form of Devdutt Padikkal. And while all three – Sarfaraz, Jurel and Akash – have made their opportunities count, Patidar remains the odd one out.

Will Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid continue with Rajat Patidar in Dharamsala? (PTI-AP)

Ironically enough, the first to debut is struggling the most. With 63 runs from six innings, Patidar, only 4 Tests old, seems to be on borrowed time in terms of his place in the Playing XI. If Padikkal comes in, it will be at Patidar’s cost as KL Rahul is already ruled out, and that could well be the end of the road for the 30-year-old… as of now.

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However, as clamours of leaving Patidar out of the XI grows louder, AB de Villiers has jumped in to point out that given the culture that exists in the team, Patidar might just retain his place. Unlike the Virat Kohli-Ravi Shastri reign, the Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid era believes in giving its players a longer run, and given that India have already captured the series, Patidar could get another shot to prove his worth.

Also Read: ‘Go back and play Ranji…’, BCCI wants to release Rajat Patidar from India squad but KL Rahul worries selectors

“Rajat Patidar not having the series of a lifetime or the one to remember. But the good thing about this Indian team and the culture is that you will survive in that side because of the great cricket they are playing and the results coming their way,” de Villiers said on his YouTube channel.

Why Rohit, Dravid might stick with Patidar

Patidar started the series well scoring a decent 32 in the second Test at Visakhapatnam. But ever since, it has been a downward slide for the batter, as his average of 10.5 dictates. In the remaining five innings, only once has he entered double digits – 17 in Ranchi – but has otherwise registered two ducks. Besides, the fact that he has thrice fallen to soft dismissals make him cut an unconvincing figure at the crease.

Still, de Villiers, showing his faith in the batter, believes that if Patidar’s head and heart are in the right place, Rohit and Dravid may be tempted to persist with him.

“If Patidar’s attitude is catchy and if he is a likable character in the dressing room, Rohit and the selection panel will have the ability to say, ‘Hold on, we do believe this guy has a future and we see him as a part of the team moving forward. Even though he hasn’t been scoring runs, let’s give him a longer run’,” said the former South Africa captain.


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