On the eve of the India-England Mohali Test, Wriddhiman Saha suffered an injury to his right hamstring and the team management decided to not risk him for the game. They had a couple of options to consider, the hottest of them being Rishabh Pant, who had been blazing away on the domestic circuit.
However, instead of opting for the exuberance of Pant, the opted for the experience of Parthiv Patel, despite him not having played a Test for his country for the past eight years. It was a selection that caught a few by surprise, but Patel did not have to care about them or anyone else.
He packed his bags from down south Hubbali, where he was involved in a Ranji Trophy game with his state side Gujarat and travelled all the way up north to Chandigarh to join the rest of his India teammates.
Anyone would tell you that comebacks are never easy and it doesn’t get any simpler if it happens after an extended period of time. But Patel played as if he had never gone out of the team, first delivering with the gloves, by catching Alastair Cook of the bowling of R Ashwin and then making a quick-fire 42 in the first innings.
However, it was in the second innings the left-hander made his most substantial contribution. In pursuit of 103 runs for a win, Patel chipped in with an unbeaten 67 and took India home along with Virat Kohli at the other end, thereby clinching the game for his side and also completing a memorable comeback for himself.
The performance got everyone speaking about Patel deserved more chances and now it seems that could happen with reports emerging that Saha could possibly not attain full fitness for the Mumbai Test and hence may get another game as India wicket-keeper next week, if reports in the Mumbai Mirror are to be believed.
Nothing is known as of now on whether Saha has recovered fully from the injury or not, but surely one would get a more a clearer picture as we closer to the game.
The Indian Cricket team are at present on a week-long break from the game, with their next Test against England scheduled to start from the 8th of December at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
It was a clinical performance by the hosts in the third Test in Mohali earlier this week, with the hosts getting contributions from all three departments of the game and clinching an emphatic eight-wicket win at the IS Bindra Stadium.
Here’s a video of Patel’s brilliant work behind the stumps
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