India Captain Rohit Sharma explains decision to include Rajat Patidar in squad

Rohit Sharma stresses the importance of providing opportunities to youngsters in Test cricket, explaining the inclusion of Rajat Patidar in the squad against England.

Ahead of the Test series opener against England, India captain Rohit Sharma emphasized the significance of providing opportunities to youngsters in the longer format. With Virat Kohli’s absence for the first two Tests, the team has called up Rajat Patidar over more experienced players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Rohit clarified that while experienced players have made significant contributions, it’s crucial to expose young talents to favorable conditions rather than directly in overseas tours.

The decision to include Patidar comes after his impressive performance for India ‘A,’ scoring 151 in a pressure situation against England Lions. India faces a dilemma in choosing a specialist wicketkeeper between the experienced KS Bharat and the uncapped Dhruv Jurel for the first Test starting on January 25.

Rohit expressed that the team doesn’t want to be in a situation with a lack of experience, emphasizing the importance of giving game time to young players whenever there’s an opportunity. He assured that doors are not closed for experienced players, and anyone performing well will be welcomed back into the set-up.

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Regarding the upcoming Test series, billed as India aiming to defend its unbeaten record at home since the 2-1 series defeat to England, Rohit asserted the team’s focus on playing their cricket. He shrugged off concerns about countering England’s attacking approach, stating that their primary focus is on their own game.

Reflecting on India’s recent Test victory against South Africa in Cape Town, Rohit acknowledged the confidence gained from the win. He emphasized that while the conditions and opposition are different in Hyderabad, the team’s positive atmosphere stems from their recent success.

-IANS