Updated: December 10, 2020 8:54:58 AM
In 2002, Parthiv Patel, a talented 17-year-old who played Test cricket at the age of 18, retired from all forms of cricket on Wednesday with less than a ‘keeper-batsman’, completing 25 Tests, 38 ODIs and two T20Is.
The fact that he was fit as a cricketer for more than two decades spoke volumes on his sport and hard work. The territory of India’s ‘keeper-batsman’ was covered by a certain MS in 2004-05. It changed completely after the arrival of Dhoni. Like Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv had to fight someone for a place in India. Still, the left hand is not thrown to pieces. He embraced domestic cricket and whenever the opportunity arose he was ready to play for India. His last Test against South Africa in Johannesburg two years ago confirmed his longevity. He was instrumental in making Gujarat a major force in domestic cricket.
Read | Former India captains respond to Parthiv Patel’s retirement
“There was a time in 2009 when India went to New Zealand. I scored 800 in the Ranji Trophy, scored a hundred in the Duleep Trophy final and did not get a call. Probably thought it was. But then I thought of something else, it was to build a team, ”Parthiv told reporters during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
He achieved his goal, leading Gujarat to the Vijay Hazare Trophy win in 2015 and the Ranji Trophy title next season. His 143 in the final against Mumbai helped Gujarat chase a record run.
But it was the beginning of his career, when he wanted to secure his place in the Test team, and it was special. He was part of the India of Saurav Ganguly who won against England at Headingley. A year later, he was in the team during India’s memorable Test series in Australia – which ended 1-1. Then, in Rawalpindi in 2004, he scored a half-century in India’s innings victory over Pakistan.
“I will always manage Saurav Ganguly as a man. Srav Rao and Anil Kumble are great leaders and they have made me a kind of person,” Parthiv said.
I have a misprinted test cap with the name ‘Party’ that Dada gave me. Successes in Headingley (2002) and Adelaide (2003-04) and fifties will be my favorite memories of opening the innings in Rawalpindi. ”He added.
Parthiv completed 934 runs and 72 dismissals in Tests, 736 runs and 39 dismissals in ODIs. In first-class cricket, he had 11,240 runs in 194 matches and 563 dismissals. “I still believe in Test matches, you have to play your best keeper, like Viruthiman Saha for India,” he said.
When he hung up his boots, he gave a piece of advice to youngsters who want to play for India. “Stay away from social media as much as possible.”
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