Rajat Patidar has been around for quite some time. He made his First-Class debut in 2015, with the Ranji Trophy match for Madhya Pradesh against Baroda.
A fabulous debut it turned out to be, too.
After making 60 in more of a conventional manner in the first innings, he slammed a 127-ball 101 in the second.
You need awareness about match situations and that has helped me.
— Rajat Patidar about his ability to pace a long innings
So he gave early indications that he could adapt his batting to conditions. He,however, could not capitalise on his great start and his career didn’t look like progressing beyond the Ranji Trophy.
But, it all changed in May.
His sensational 112 not out off 54 balls for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL eliminator at Kolkata became a talking point. In the very next match, he scored 58 against Rajasthan Royals.
Patidar smoothly moved back into the red-ball mode to come up with knocks of 85 and 79 in the Ranji Trophy knock-out matches, against Punjab and Bengal respectively.
He saved his best for the last. He scored a hundred to help Madhya Pradesh win the Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai.
Patidar was then called up to the India-A squad. He scored a superb 176 against New Zealand-A at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in the first ‘Test’ in Kochi this past weekend.
He believes the innings in the IPL eliminator was an important innings for him too, just as it was RCB. He is equally proud of the hundred in the Ranji final.
He said he was able to achieve success in different formats because he could make the switch mentally, more than anything else.
“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.