Rajat Patidar (Photo: X)
Talented right-handed batter Rajat Patidar has experienced the highs and lows of the game in a relatively short span of time. After a dismal Indian Premier League campaign in 2021, Patidar was released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, he was signed mid-way in the 2022 season of the tournament as a replacement for the injured Luvnith Sisodia. The Madhya Pradesh cricketer made his second chance count as he scored a memorable unbeaten 112 off 54 balls in the Eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants.
Patidar ended the season with an average of 55.50 and a strike rate of 152.75 and also did well in the Ranji Trophy. He earned his maiden call-up to the Indian ODI team for a home series against South Africa in October 2022. However, he did not get a game. Patidar suffered an Achilles heel injury that required surgery and he had to miss the 2023 edition of the IPL. After recovering from the injury and grinding it out in the domestic circuit, the 30-year-old has once again received a call-up to the Indian ODI team for the upcoming ODI series in South Africa.
“Ab thoda bahut believe karta hun destiny main (Now, I believe in destiny a bit),” he said after helping Madhya Pradesh win a crucial encounter in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2023 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. “I try not to think too much into what’s written in destiny. I try to stay in the present. It feels very good to get another chance with the India set up after the surgery,” he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
Patidar mentioned that he had the feeling he would score a hundred in IPL 2022 if he could pick the right bowlers to attack.
“Before the hundred (112* off 54 balls vs LSG), I had scored 52 against GT. That’s when I felt maybe I can score a hundred in IPL. I had said that to our coach Sanjay Bangar. I was getting out in the 12th over. I knew if I chose the bowlers more smartly, I would be able to do it,” he says.
Shot selection is something I visualise and analyse a lot before changing formats: Rajat Patidar
Patidar gave an insight into how he switches his game according to formats. He said that he has noticed top players making minimal adjustments when they are switching formats.
“In a day match, I have to cut down on my bat speed. My natural game is slightly attacking. But I rely more on timing. I try to understand my game and play accordingly. Shot selection is something I visualise and analyse a lot before changing formats. From watching top players one thing I have learnt is that the consistent players never have to change their game too much in T20. They back their cricketing shots and find a way to score,” Patidar explained.
Patidar said that he is still playing with pain but mentioned that his doctor has said that it will ease out with time.
“It’s the main tendon in the body and takes a year-and-a-half to heal completely. It’s been 6-7 months so far. The doctor has told me that I can play and the heel with slowly get used to the ground conditions. There is some pain. But I had played for three years with pain (before surgery). So, I know I can manage,” he said.
“It plays on your mind initially when you enter the crease before your body has warmed up; once it does, you don’t feel that much.” said Patidar, who has experienced an ACL tear previously and knows the importance of patience on the road to recovery.
Patidar also praised Madhya Pradesh coach Chandrakant Pandit for helping him understand his game better and take it to new heights.
“He’s made so many players over the years. Do teen laddap-vappad khaake, bahut kuch seekha hai unse (learnt a lot from his tough coaching ways). He helps you to raise your game. I have learnt how to think about the game in great detail from him, and on thinking right, off-the-field,” Patidar concluded.