IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Devdutt Padikkal Likely to Join Squad on Tuesday, Mohammed Siraj Misses Optional Session

Published By: Sahil Malhotra

Last Updated: February 12, 2024, 23:06 IST

Devdutt Padikkal replaces KL Rahul in Indian squad for Rajkot Test

Devdutt Padikkal replaces KL Rahul in Indian squad for Rajkot Test

Mohammed Siraj didn’t feature in the “optional session” as he arrived in Rajkot late on Monday evening.

Devdutt Padikkal has replaced KL Rahul in India’s squad for the third Test against England but the Karnataka batter hasn’t joined the squad yet. The left-hander, who was playing for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy contest vs Tamil Nadu, is likely to arrive in Rajkot on Tuesday.

The sixth round of India’s premier domestic competition culminated today and Padikkal was playing for his state in the away fixture at Chepauk.

“Devdutt Padikkal was busy with the Ranji Trophy. The round has ended today only and he will most likely arrive tomorrow and link up with the squad,” a BCCI official tells CricketNext.

ALSO READ | IND vs ENG: KL Rahul Ruled Out of Rajkot Test, To be Replaced by Devdutt Padikkal

The stylish batter is fresh from a 151 against TN and he couldn’t have timed his knock better as the chairman of the men’s senior selection committee Ajit Agarkar was watching from the stands. It has been a brilliant season for Padikkal as he has hit three hundreds in six innings and accumulated 556 runs at a stunning average of 92.66.

Siraj misses “optional session”

At the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium on Monday, the Indian team had a practice session behind closed doors and seamer Mohammed Siraj was the notable omission as he reached Rajkot late in the evening.

Waiting for his luggage near the belt, Siraj was spotted obliging numerous requests for selfies and photographs before he was escorted to his car by the SCA officials. The 29-year-old was rested for the second Test in Vishakhapatnam and is now likely to return to the XI for the third and crucial Rajkot Test starting February 15.

“It was an optional session today behind closed doors,” the official says on Siraj’s absence.

“Rahul has reached 90% fitness”

Rahul is going to be a big miss for India in the middle-order but the good news is that the right-hander “has reached 90% fitness” and will continue his recovery process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. Rahul had uploaded a video of him batting in the nets on Sunday and the 31-year-old is likely to return to action from the fourth Test in Ranchi.

“KL Rahul, whose availability for the remaining three Tests was subject to fitness, has been ruled out of the third Test against England in Rajkot. Rahul has reached 90 per cent of match fitness and is progressing well under the supervision of the BCCI Medical Team. He will continue his recovery process at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to be completely match-fit for the fourth and fifth Test,” read a BCCI media advisory.

The middle-order

Rahul’s injury and Shreyas Iyer being dropped for the remainder of the series means the middle-order will have a fresh face for the third Test. Sarfaraz Khan, who joined the side ahead of the 2nd Test, is the frontrunner to make his debut and Rajat Patidar is expected to hold on to his spot in the XI.

ALSO READ | IND vs ENG: With KL Rahul Out, Will India Hand Test Debut to Sarfaraz Khan in Rajkot?

The management also needs to take the wicket-keeper call as KS Bharat is yet to make an impression with the bat in his Test outings. There is an option of Dhruv Jurel available for the think-tank and if they look his way, the middle-order could see two debutants for the Rajkot Test.

India’s updated Squad for the third Test: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep, Devdutt Padikkal.

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