Devdutt Padikkal overcomes health struggles to make Test debut for India | Cricket News


NEW DELHI: Amidst the beaming smiles and proud moments of receiving his India Test cap from Ravichandran Ashwin, Devdutt Padikkal‘s journey to this pinnacle was veiled in silent struggles and perseverance over the past two years.
Since his debut in 2021, Padikkal’s trajectory has faced setbacks due to a battle with COVID-19 and persistent stomach-related health issues.
“Those two years, he was struggling to stay fit and healthy. He suffered from loss of weight too. It was a constant stomach bug that was troubling him,” Irfan Sait, founder of Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC), told PTI.
However, Padikkal’s innate determination and resilience never waned.

“He worked really hard on his fitness and diet ahead of the 2023 season because he wanted to get back to the place where he was in 2020-21,” shared Sait, acknowledging Padikkal’s unwavering commitment.
The arduous efforts bore fruit during the 2023-24 season, where Padikkal showcased exceptional performances for Karnataka across formats. Emerging as the highest run-scorer in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with 465 runs at a staggering average of 155, Padikkal’s stellar form continued in the Ranji Trophy, where he notched up 556 runs in just four matches.
Impressive displays for India A, and a noteworthy 151 against Tamil Nadu witnessed by chief selector Ajit Agarkar, paved the way for Padikkal’s Test debut against England.

“Once KL Rahul did not pass the fitness test, India needed a replacement. Rahul Dravid and Ajit Agarkar held a brief discussion, and the latter was mighty impressed with Devdutt after that Chennai innings and recommended his name,” disclosed a BCCI official.
For Sait, Padikkal’s journey epitomizes resilience and dedication. “There is absolutely nothing in his life apart from cricket… the way he battled past his health complications is a tribute to his character and determination,” expressed Sait, reflecting on Padikkal’s remarkable journey.
(With inputs from PTI)


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