Last year, Rajat Patidar burst onto the scene in the Indian Premier League while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Although he joined the IPL 2022 as a replacement player, Patidar quickly established himself as a valuable member of the team through his impressive batting skills.
During the tournament, Patidar achieved the distinction of scoring the fastest hundred by an Indian player and the fastest by an uncapped player, reaching the milestone in just 49 balls. His century helped RCB secure a victory over Lucknow Super Giants and advance to the second Eliminator.
However, the team has suffered a setback as Patidar is currently recovering from a heel injury and is expected to miss the first half of the tournament.
According to a report from ESPNCricinfo, Patidar has been advised to rest for the next three weeks until the results of his MRI tests are available. His ability to play in the second half of the tournament will depend on the outcome of the tests and he must also receive clearance from the National Cricket Academy before rejoining the RCB squad.
Due to Patidar’s absence, the RCB management will need to restructure their top order. Although Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson had previously indicated that skipper Faf du Plessis and former RCB captain Virat Kohli would open the batting, Patidar’s injury could force a reshuffle.
Initially not part of the RCB squad for IPL 2022, Patidar was drafted in to replace injured wicketkeeper-batter Lunvith Sisodia. He made an impact with his century in the eliminator against LSG and a half-century in the second qualifier against Rajasthan Royals. Despite Patidar’s efforts, RCB lost the match.
Patidar ended the season with 333 runs, making him RCB’s third-highest run scorer behind Kohli and Du Plessis. His impressive IPL performance, combined with a strong showing in the Ranji Trophy that resulted in a championship win, earned him a call-up to the Indian team. However, RCB has additional concerns beyond Patidar’s absence.