Mohali Test: Mixed bag of a comeback for wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel
Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel is playing a Test match after eight years and it was natural for him to be a touch nervous. Besides, he knows the moment Wriddhiman Saha recovers from his thigh injury he will be back
India's wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel tries to dismiss Jos Buttler of England on Day One of the third Test at Mohali on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Mohali: Wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel is playing a Test match after eight years and it was natural for him to be a touch nervous. Besides, he knows the moment Wriddhiman Saha recovers from his thigh injury he will be back, being the first-choice 'keeper.
Still, he would be desperate to prove his worth, both behind the stumps and with the bat in hand in front. In the absence of KL Rahul due to an injury, he has also been designated to open the innings with Murali Vijay.
Though it is a big responsibility, it is also a big opportunity to prove his mettle and to ensure a berth as reserve wicketkeeper whenever India tour abroad next.
However, it was a mixed day for the diminutive wicketkeeper as he let go of a catch and a stumping, having also got one catch and a stumping. Despite playing at the international level after a long time, his glove work was efficient, but the two muffed chances surely blotted his page.
Having not kept wicket to R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja regularly, it was bound to be a bit tricky for Patel to maintain a clean slate, especially as the ball is keeping low. His two reprieves were due to low bounce which he could not anticipate well.
Basically, he has been preferred to other wicketkeepers like Dinesh Karthik and Naman Ojha due to his better glove work and he must be a bit disappointed with the way the first day panned out
for him. Of course, he has still a lot to do in the match, and can still redeem himself. With the bat in the two innings as an opener and in the second England innings, when keeping will not be that easy.
He let off top-scorer Jonny Bairstow on 54 (a stumping chance), and then dropped him on 89. Luckily for him, the batsman fell leg-before the next ball to Jayant Yadav, and that did not cost India much. But, Patel can ill afford such mistakes in the second innings when the match will be on razor's edge.
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