Another product from IPL manufacturing unit
Posted September 25, 2022 in Indian Team.
The IPL has always been known for producing talents. A magical platform for young players to compete against world-class players. This enables the players to understand whether they are just a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond. One such player who has risen like a true champion ever since the IPL 2022 has been Rajat Manohar Patidar.
Patidar made his Ranji debut way back in 2015 for Madhya Pradesh against Baroda. The stylish right-hander scored a 127-ball 100 in his very first match. Rajat has been consistently playing impactful innings since then but has gone unnoticed. Things turned upside down for him in IPL 2022, where he scored a match-winning 112 not out off 54 balls for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Lucknow Super Giants in the eliminator. Rajat topped it up by scoring 58 against Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator 2, which made everyone believe (and, more importantly, Rajat himself believed) that he could score, and score under pressure. Patidar then took the confidence of his IPL innings and carried it forward to the Ranji trophy, where he had a dream run in the 2022 season. Showing his class all over and the ability to perform under pressure, Patidar scored 85 and 79 against Punjab and Bengal, respectively, in the knockout games. But Patidar didn’t stop there. He scored a magnificent 122 in the first innings and a crucial 30* in the second innings in the all-important finals of the Ranji Trophy against Mumbai, which helped Madhya Pradesh win their first ever Ranji Trophy tournament. Rajat scored a whopping 658 runs in the entire tournament, which earned him a debut call-up for the India A team.
Making a big debut!
Playing his first game for India A, Rajat looked like he belonged there. Showing his array of shots, impeccable timing and patience, he scored a mammoth 176 runs in the first match at the Chinnasway stadium, which helped India post a mind-boggling first innings score of 571-6d. Though the match ended in a draw, we got glimpses of what is to come for young Patidar. The second unofficial test was declared a draw thanks to the rain gods. The third and final match was the decider, and as they say, cometh the hour, cometh the man! Patidar rose to the spotlight again by scoring 109* in just 135 balls. Patidar hit 15 glorious boundaries (13 fours and two sixes), which consisted of all the shots in the coaching manual; the front foot defence, the cover drive, the square, the straight drive, the flick and what not! He was joined in by Chennai Super Kings and Maharashtra opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who missed out on his century by just 6 runs and scored 94 off 164 deliveries. This was also Patidar’s third hundred in three months at the Chinnaswamy stadium, which has become a happy hunting ground for the right-handed batter. Other debutants from India A, Tilak Verma, and Mukesh Kumar, also showcased their ability to deliver on the big stage. A super 5-wicket haul from Saurabh Kumar helped India A to clinch the match and the series 1-0 against a talented New Zealand squad.
Later, Patidar spoke to the media about his dream run of form and how he transitioned from the IPL to the Ranji Trophy to India A success.
"If you have the game to do well in red-ball and white-ball cricket, you should be able to do well," he said. "You have to make the changes accordingly. For instance, you need a different bat-speed for T20 cricket compared to the longer format, in which you have to slow it down. "
About his ability to pace a long innings, he said that was needed in today’s cricket. "You need awareness about match situations, and that has helped me," he said.
While many players fail to leverage their purple patch, Patidar has just shown the world how to grab opportunities and knock the selectors' doors with such solid and consistent performances. The knocks in the IPL eliminators have given a massive boost to his confidence and that is now reflecting in his shot-making decisions. What stands out in Patidar’s case is not the runs, but the moments where he has scored those runs. The hundred in the eliminator 1, complied by a quick fifty in the eliminator 2, two fifty-plus scores in the knockout games in the Ranji Trophy and a match-winning hundred in the finals, topped up by two centuries in three India A games, can only mean one thing – this bloke can absorb pressure like a sponge and thrive under difficult situations. Whether Patidar now goes and makes it big on the international scene is something the cricket pundits will be keeping an eye on. But whatever it might be, the kid sure has the finesse, the mental attitude and the right technique to convert the India A jersey into an India jersey sooner than later.
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