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Devdutt Padikkal, who made his Test debut in the ongoing 5th IND vs ENG Test match in Dharamsala, revealed the pep talk he received from India’s head coach Rahul Dravid before his first match. He received his Test cap from Ravichandran Ashwin, playing his 100th Test. Padikkal replaced the injured KL Rahul in the squad and Rajat Patidar in the playing XI.

Although India batted first on Day 1 after dismissing England, Padikkal didn’t get to bat until the first session of Day 2. He showed no signs of pressure and batted confidently against both spinners and pacers, reaching his half-century with a six off 83 balls. Padikkal seemed poised for a big score but was eventually dismissed for 65 runs off 103 balls, with 10 fours and 1 six.

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After the conclusion of Day 2’s play, the young batsman shared that he was informed about the chance of his debut on the eve of the match, which made him quite nervous. Padikkal revealed:

“I think regardless of when you get to know, there’re always thoughts in your head, there’s always going to be nervousness around it. So that was still there. I got a message saying there could be a possibility I could be playing on the previous night itself. I was nervous from that time. It was a tough night’s sleep,” 

In a post-match interview with JioCinema, Padikkal disclosed that India head coach Rahul Dravid helped calm his nerves with a pep-talk. He revealed:

“Rahul sir mentioned to me yesterday, ‘the first 15-20 minutes, you will have some nerves. Enjoy that, have fun with that, and just go on’. That stuck with me. I knew I was going to be nervous, but that was a nice challenge. That has definitely helped me,” 

Devdutt Padikkal also mentioned that despite holding a substantial 255-run lead, India isn’t eyeing a three-day Test match. He added:

“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,”

Furthermore, Devdutt Padikkal commented on his partnership with Sarfaraz Khan during the Dharamsala Test, highlighting their 97-run stand. He said:

“It’s always fun to bat with Sarfaraz. He’s a great character to have around. It was just some light stuff, it wasn’t anything too serious. We weren’t really discussing the game a lot. We just wanted to make sure that we made each other comfortable on the ground because you are two against 11. We were just looking to make each other comfortable and we enjoyed batting with each other,”

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