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‘I won’t be surprised if Patidar…’: Aakash Chopra

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NEW DELHI: In the midst of speculation surrounding India’s playing eleven for the fifth and final Test against

England

in

Dharamsala

, former cricketer

Aakash Chopra

suggested on Tuesday that middle-order batsman

Rajat Patidar

might get another opportunity for the hosts.
Patidar was named as the replacement for

Virat Kohli

, who opted out of the series for personal reasons, as announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (

BCCI

) before the series commenced.

Despite a promising debut Test innings, Patidar has struggled to make a significant impact in the ongoing five-match Test series against England.
Chopra’s assessment raises the possibility of the Indian team management providing Patidar with another chance, indicating their faith in the talented middle-order batsman. The final decision on the playing eleven will be keenly awaited as India look to finish the series on a positive note in Dharamsala.

Speaking on his official YouTube channel, Chopra said the fifth Test match could be Patidar’s final opportunity to seal his place in the Indian middle-order in red-ball cricket.
“Reports suggest Rajat Patidar will play and I can probably understand. The team is saying that they have played him three matches, so he can play one more and that this could be his final opportunity,” Chopra said.
With the hosts already holding an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, the 46-year-old added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Patidar was included in India’s playing eleven for the Dharamsala Test.
“If they don’t play him and play Devdutt, and if he has a bad match, they won’t be able to judge him as well, and might also feel they didn’t give full chances to Rajat. I won’t be surprised if Rajat Patidar plays. However, if he is dropped, still I won’t be surprised. It’s a judgment call for the team management. They can’t be criticized whichever way they go,” the former India opener added.
England faced a challenging series against India, losing three consecutive matches following their impressive victory in the opening Test in Hyderabad. Despite the series being decided in favor of the hosts, both teams still have significant stakes in terms of World Test Championship (WTC) points.
As it stands, India occupy the top spot in the WTC standings with a points percentage of 64.58. Their dominant performances in the series have reinforced their position and have the potential to further solidify their standing in the championship.
On the other hand, England find themselves in a challenging position, currently languishing in the eighth position in the World Test Championship standings. A positive outcome in the remaining matches of the series would be crucial for them to climb the standings and improve their points percentage.
With both teams having a lot at stake in terms of WTC points, the remaining matches in the series offer an opportunity for England to bounce back and make significant strides, while India aim to consolidate its position at the top of the standings.
(With ANI inputs)

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