With a 29-ball fifty against Gujarat Titans in IPL 2022 last month, Rajat Patidar showed that he has the credentials to thrive among the best. Then, came the defining moment in the Eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. And the crowning moment may soon follow. Interestingly, the 28-year-old was not part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad at the start of IPL 2022 and was roped in only after Luvnith Sisodia got ruled out due to injury.
Rajat Patidar made his IPL debut last season when RCB picked him for his base price of INR 20 lakh. He played four games but a mediocre performance of 71 runs at an average of 17.75 kept him out of RCB’s plans this year.
As fate would have it, Sisodia got injured and RCB included Patidar. The newcomer was benched for a long time but once he got the opportunity, he scored his maiden IPL fifty in only his second game of the season. Since then, Patidar has comfortably made it to the playing XI of the side.
“He has been a great addition... Rajat comes in and plays with freedom, real cool, calm, composure about him. That is always really good trait for youngsters to have,” said Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis after Rajat's 48 off 38 in his side's 67-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Growing With Freedom
Rajat Patidar was enrolled in a cricket academy by his grandfather around the age of eight. The young boy wanted to become a bowler back then. He used to bowl spin. However, it was after the age of 15 when Rajat Patidar started taking his batting seriously.
The right-handed batsman, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, is the son of a businessman. The family always supported him in Rajat's cricket journey. Rajat, who represents his home state in domestic circuit, has played 43 List A games scoring 1397 runs, while collecting 1024 runs from 37 T20s.
“I don’t think that the journey to IPL was that tough for me because I never thought about it from the start. I never set a goal for myself. I just wanted to enjoy my game and give my 100 per cent,” said Rajat Patidar in an interview last year.
“Of course, everybody dreams of playing for India. My biggest aim is to play Test cricket for the nation. I love it a lot,” said Rajat Patidar, who has played 39 first-class games for Madhya Pradesh, scoring 2588 runs at an average of 40.43.