NEW DELHI: Last-minute inclusion Devdutt Padikkal, after an injury to Rajat Patidar, made a mark for himself as he hit fifty on debut before being bowled by England’s Shoaib Bashir on the second day of the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala.
The left-handed batter impressed everyone with his exquisite cover drives as he hit 10 fours and one six in his eye-catching 65-run knock off 103 deliveries.
Displaying composure on the crease and gaining confidence with each run and boundary, Padikkal showcased a remarkable performance. He formed a resilient partnership of 97 runs with Sarfaraz Khan, stabilising the host team’s innings after the quick dismissals of centurions Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill in the post-lunch session.
“Rahul Sir mentioned: ‘in the first 10-15 minutes you will have nerves, but go out and enjoy it’. Those words definitely helped me. I felt we could have batted a bit better, could have carried on a bit better in the last session,” Padikkal disclosed the words of advice from coach Dravid which helped him overcome nerves ahead of debut.
“I have always believed that discipline is key to success in anything that you do. Whether your practice or day to day habits or food. I have tried to be disciplined and that was my main goal.
“Technically I made a couple of small changes but mentally yes, I made the changes. I wanted to ensure that I enjoy the game a lot more because the last couple of years I couldn’t play that often and missing out on games made me realise how much I missed the sport.”
“Regardless of when you get to know, there is always going to be nervousness around. That was still there. I got a message the previous night saying that I could be playing.
“I was nervous, it was a tough night’s sleep but it is something you also enjoy at the same time. You live for those days,” said Padikkal.

Padikkal also expressed that he enjoyed his time at the crease while batting alongside Sarfaraz, who played a quick and impactful innings to reach a half-century.
“It’s always fun to bat with Sarfaraz Khan. He is a great character to have around. It was just some light stuff and nothing too serious. We weren’t really discussing the game a lot, we just wanted to make sure we make each other comfortable on the ground.”
Despite India securing a substantial 255-run lead in the fifth Test, Padikkal mentioned that the team is not currently contemplating the prospect 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.”


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