Devdutt Padikkal reveals Rahul Dravid's pep-talk that soothed pre-debut jitters | Crickit
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Devdutt Padikkal reveals Rahul Dravid's crucial pep-talk that soothed pre-debut jitters before maiden fifty

Mar 08, 2024 07:24 PM IST

Indian youngster Devdutt Padikkal enjoyed an impressive debut, smashing a crucial 65 in his maiden Test knock against England in Dharamsala

Team India youngster Devdutt Padikkal enjoyed an impressive debut during Day 2 of the fifth and final Test of the series against England. Batting at no.4 in his maiden Test appearance, Padikkal held his nerves and scored an important 65, as India strengthened their position in Dharamsala against the English side.

India's Devdutt Padikkal celebrates after scoring a half-century during the second day of the fifth Test between India and England(AFP)
India's Devdutt Padikkal celebrates after scoring a half-century during the second day of the fifth Test between India and England(AFP)

Padikkal arrived at the crease following the big wicket of centurion Rohit Sharma and, minutes after his arrival, saw ton-up Shubman Gill being dismissed, too. However, the quick wickets didn't deter the 23-year-old debutant's focus as he forged a strong stand against Sarfaraz Khan, bailing India out of trouble.

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In a post-match interview with JioCinema, Padikkal revealed that he was told about the possibility of a Test debut on the eve of the game in Dharamsala. Naturally, there were nerves for the youngster, and it was his fellow state senior and Indian head coach Rahul Dravid, whose pep-talk helped Padikkal remain calm.

“Rahul sir mentioned to me yesterday, 'the first 15-20 minutes, you will have some nerves. Enjoy that, have fun with that, and just go on'. That stuck with me. I knew I was going to be nervous, but that was a nice challenge. That has definitely helped me,” Padikkal said.

Padikkal was named in Team India's squad following the departure of Shreyas Iyer but remained on the bench as Rajat Patidar played at the no.4 spot. Following a training injury to Patidar, the Karnataka batter was brought into the XI.

In his debut game, Padikkal's off-side play stood out as he regaled the crowd with exquisite back-foot punches and cover drives.

India gained a massive 255-run lead in the fifth Test but Padikkal said the team is not looking at the possibility of a three-day Test.

“We haven’t discussed and aren’t looking so far ahead. We still have two wickets in hand; there is a good partnership going on. So hopefully, we can continue to bat and keep getting those runs and lead bigger,” said the youngster.

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