Always knew I'd get another crack: Parthiv Patel on India comeback
Parthiv Patel made his Test debut against England as a 17-year-old at Trent Bridge in 2002. Now, after eight years, he returns to play the next most important match of his career against the same opponents
Wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel on a 2015 visit to Mumbai. Pic/mid-day archives
Parthiv Patel made his Test debut against England as a 17-year-old at Trent Bridge in 2002. Now, after eight years in Test wilderness, he returns to play the next most important match of his career against the same opponents when India take on England in the third Test starting in Mohali on Saturday. India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who featured in the first two Tests against England, was ruled out of the third Test with a thigh strain, prompting the selectors to recall the Gujarat Ranji skipper yesterday.
Parthiv last played for India when the team visited Sri Lanka for a three-Test series in July-August 2008. "I'm happy to be back. I always believed that I still have it in me to play cricket at the highest level so I kept working hard and kept performing at every level, be it first class, List A or the Indian Premier League. I was always positive about getting another opportunity someday," added Parthiv.
Summer of 2002
He earned a lot of praise on the 2002 tour of England However, he didn't keep well in the Sydney Test of the 2003-04 series against Australia. The wicketkeeper-batsman now has 9397 runs and 461 dismissals (398 catches and 63 stumpings) under his belt from 161 first-class games. Parthiv had a great start to the current Ranji season, scoring 415 runs in his first eight innings with an average of 59.28, three fifties and a 170-ball unbeaten 139 against MP.
After 2004, the selectors did not have enough faith in his abilities. The emergence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni proved to be another hurdle for the Ahmedabad-based cricketer. Over the years the selectors have considered Dinesh Karthik (31 years), Wriddhiman Saha (32) and Naman Ojha (33) as second choice to Dhoni before sticking to Saha after Dhoni's Test retirement in 2014-15.
Was he disappointed missing 82 Tests that India played since he played his last Test against Sri Lanka on August 8 to 12, 2008 despite a string of good performances in domestic cricket? "I never used to think about selection. That is not in my hands. I can only take care of those things that are in my control like training and performing and that's what I have been doing all these years," he said.
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