'Go back to play Ranji...': BCCI wants to release Rajat Patidar from India squad | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'Go back and play Ranji...': BCCI wants to release Rajat Patidar from India squad but KL Rahul worries selectors- Report

Feb 28, 2024 03:25 PM IST

If Rahul regains his fitness on time then the team management doesn't see any point in holding Rajat Patidar in the squad for the India vs England 5th Test.

The BCCI selection committee and the Indian team management led by captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid are in a fix about a couple of players before the fifth and final Test against England. The final assignment of the chapter begins on March 7 in Dharamsala. While there is still considerable time before the Test match, the fitness of KL Rahul has got the Indian camp worried. According to multiple media reports, Rahul has flown to London to consult a specialist after he continued to feel discomfort in his right quadriceps. The injury kept him out of the last three Tests against England.

India's Rajat Patidar plays a shot(ANI )
India's Rajat Patidar plays a shot(ANI )

The selectors are likely to take a call by March 2, when the players are supposed to regroup in Chandigarh before flying out to Dharamsala the next on a chartered flight. If Rahul, who was "90% fit" according to a BCCI press release before the third Test, doesn't regain his full fitness by then, the selectors would have to continue with Rajat Patidar in the squad, which they don't want to.

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According to a Times of India report, the selectors want to release Patidar from the India Test squad so that he can play the Ranji Trophy semi-final for Madhya Pradesh against Vidarbha on March 2. Patidar has not been able to utilise the chances so far in the series. In six innings, his highest score is 32 and he has already registered two ducks. The manner in which he has thrown his wicket on a few occasions despite getting a favourable No.4 position to bat has worried the selectors.

If Rahul regains his fitness on time then the team management doesn't see any point in holding Patidar in the squad. “Ideally, the team management would want to see Patidar go back to play the Ranji semifinal and find some form. But that depends on Rahul’s availability. If Rahul is unavailable then he may be asked to stay back with the team. Even if Devdutt Padikkal makes his debut in the last Test, the team management needs an extra batter in the team as a concussion substitute,” a source was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Rahul's fitness a big concern for Team India

Rahul's curious injury, however, is the biggest hurdle in implementing the above scenario. The NCA medical team reportedly has not found anything worrisome in Rahul's quad after conducting multiple scans and tests but because the right-hander is still complaining of pain and discomfort, they have decided to send him to London, where the specialist who operated on the cricketer can have a closer look at the problem.

“The medical team thought Rahul was good to go for the last three Tests. But he complained of discomfort. He is a bit concerned about it. He has endured a heavy workload while keeping wickets in the World Cup and the Test series in South Africa. Multiple scans have been done on his quads. While there is nothing very concerning, some inflammation has been noted. The reports were sent to the doctor who treated him in England. Eventually, the doctor asked him to travel to England so that he could personally check what’s wrong with Rahul,” a source added.

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