Devdutt Padikkal: From overcoming health complications to landing a dream Test debut

Devdutt Padikkal beamed broadly while receiving his India Test cap from Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday but the happy exterior masked the struggles the 23-year-old had to go through over the last two years to reach this dream moment.

After making his India debut in 2021 during a T20I against Sri Lanka, Devdutt’s career graph did not go up as expected due to a COVID-19 infection and a stomach-related health complication.

“Those two years (2021 to early 2023), he was struggling to stay fit and healthy. He suffered from loss of weight too. It was a constant stomach bug that was troubling him,” Irfan Sait, who coached Devdutt through his formative years, told PTI.

“We kept talking to each other over phone, and incidentally, I was also having the same condition and we were consulting the same doctor in the Jain Hospital without each other knowing.

“Mohammed Naseerudden, another coach here, too has been close to him and kept in touch with him during those low-mood phases.”

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