Parthiv ready for second chance

Parthiv ready for second chance

In an international career spanning over nine years, Patel has played just 20 Tests and 18 one-dayers, statistics that do not reflect his talent. But when skipper and regular wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was given a well-deserved rest after the World Cup and the Indian Premier League, the selectors duly brought in Patel.

It was reward for the Gujarat player’s consistent run in front of and behind the wickets over the last three years. Patel acknowledged as much. “I must have done a lot of right, that’s why I am here. I am really working hard on my game, played a lot of domestic games and that also has made a difference. The consistency in the domestic games is very very important, and that’s what I managed in the last three years,” said Patel.
Patel’s below par performance when standing up to the spinners came for sharp criticism after he floundered regularly while Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh were operating. Patel admitted that he didn’t deserve a place in the national squad after his shoddy effort, but attributed that more to lack of concentration than technical frailties.

“When I came in to the team, I was a proper wicket-keeping batsmen, but then my keeping slumped. Everybody knows that if you perform, you stay in the side, and if you don’t perform, you won’t stay in the side, and I wasn’t performing. It was tough to accept in the beginning, but as time progressed, I accepted the fact that I didn’t perform enough to stay in the side.

“A lot of people were pointing out faults in my keeping like receiving the ball and getting up. But I don’t think it was anything to do with my technique. Whatever happened was perhaps because of lack of concentration, and a bit to do with my fitness,” he detailed.
But ouster from team, the 26-year old said, didn’t dishearten him as he went about the job of improving his skills diligently. “When you go out of the team, there are phases that will frustrate you. But I handled them well. I worked with a lot of people in that period. I worked with Kiran More. Lakshman Gaikwad is Gujarat’s consultant, and I had a lot of chat with him. When I go to NCA, I work with Dinesh Nanawati, but end of the day, I had to ensure that I step up and perform,” said Patel.

Noting that playing alongside Dhoni for Chennai Super Kings helped him understand his craft better, he went on, “When you captain a side and keep wickets, you need to be relaxed, and that’s Dhoni’s biggest plus. If you look at the skill side, he’s right up there, and his relaxed mindset boosts concentration powers as well. Having played for CSK, we communicate to each other a lot and it has been very helpful.” 

The little left-hander hoped that the West Indies tour will open the door to a more consistent term with the Indian team. “A lot had happened in the past, but there’s no point in thinking about them. I am happy to see all the hard work I put in is showing in my batting and keeping. This tour is a great opportunity for me to show that I am good enough to play for the country,” he said.

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