"Virat Kohli And Rohit Sharma Are My Idols": Rajat Patidar Ahead Of 1st ODI Against South Africa
Rajat Patidar, who earned his maiden national call-up in India's squad for the 3-match ODI series against South Africa, has revealed that he idolises Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Patidar has already played with Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are two of the finest batters to have graced Indian cricket. Over the course of their careers, the two stalwarts have done wonders with the bat and inspired thousands of budding cricketers. One of those emerging stars who has idolised Kohli and Rohit over the years is Rajat Patidar, the man who could make his ODI debut for India on Thursday against South Africa.
Included in the Indian team for the 3-match ODI series against South Africa, Patidar has done very well in the domestic cricketing spectrum. He also put in a few exemplary performances for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Patidar's consistent performances in domestic cricket didn't go unnoticed for long as he was rewarded with his maiden national call-up for the 3 ODIs against South Africa. Ahead of the first match of the series, Patidar opened up on the impact of idols Kohli and Rohit on his career.
"Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are my idols. Playing with Virat Kohli and creating partnerships with him has been really special. Even off the field, if I go to him to talk about my batting, he is always helpful. Getting a chance to share the dressing room with your idols, which not everybody gets in their life, is really special. There are a lot of learnings that I have gotten from him, both on and off the field," Patidar said in an interview with Cricket Addictor.
Having formed a few important partnerships with Kohli in the IPL 2022 season, Patidar also gave insights into the type of conversations he had with the India stalwart during the IPL.
"He always asks me to back my game and also shares his point of view on my batting. He tries to give me some pointers, which I try to add to my batting to improve my overall game," he said.
When asked about a few cricketing stars from the past that Patidar admires, he took the name of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. When it comes to non-cricketing sports stars, Cristiano Ronaldo was on top of Patidar's list.
"When I was young, I used to admire Sachin (Tendulkar) sir and Rahul (Dravid) sir. Right now, there is Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma because they all are perfect players for all formats and have performed consistently for the national team.
"In other sports, I admire Cristiano Ronaldo because he has always been on the top for so long. Every time he has this hunger to stay at the top of the game. The way he handles his training and routine and his work ethic are just incredible. Every time he wants to fight for the top position, this mindset to always win is really inspirational," he said.
The batter Indore would hope to be handed his debut cap on Thursday when the Indian team takes on South Africa in Lucknow.