Team India have reached South Africa and begun their training session ahead of the much-awaited three-match Test series, starting December 26.

However, the number one ranked Test side will be without their star opening batter Rohit Sharma, who has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury. The visitors will definitely miss the presence of Rohit as he was named as vice-captain of the side, replacing another senior member Ajiknya Rahane.

But Rohit’s injury has paved the way for Priyank Panchal, a batting sensation in the domestic circuit. Panchal was recently seen in the whites representing India-A in the rainbow nation. He notched up scores of 96, 24 and 0, and upon his return, the 31-year-old was rewarded with a call-up into the Indian Test squad.

With KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal already in the outfit, it would be interesting if Panchal gets the break to make his debut. Nonetheless, Panchal will try to cash in the golden opportunity of sharing the change room with the likes of Virat Kohli, who is a global superstar of the game. On that note, let’s have a look at seven interesting facts about Panchal:

1.) Panchal was born on April 09, 1990, in Ahmedabad, and he plays cricket for the Gujarat state team.

2.) The right-handed batsman started his professional career on February 27 2008, when he played his first List-A game against Maharashtra in Vijay Hazare Trophy. He smashed a sensational century, scoring 123 runs.

3.) In November, in the same year, Panchal made his Ranji Trophy debut against Saurashtra. He scored 4 runs in the first innings and couldn’t get a chance to bat again.

4.) In November 2016, Panchal became the first player to hit a triple century for Gujarat. He stayed unbeaten on 314 in the Group A Ranji Trophy match against Punjab.

5.) In the following month, Panchal scripted another history as he became the first player for Gujarat to score 1,000 runs in a single Ranji Trophy season. He finished the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy season as the top-scorer with a total of 1,310 runs from 10 matches at an average of 87.33.

6.) In July 2018, Pacnhal was named in the squad for India Green for the 2018–19 Duleep Trophy. Then, in August 2019, he was picked as captain of the India Red team for the same event.

7.) In January 2021, earlier this year, Panchal was named as one of five standby players in India’s Test squad for the series against England.

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