Players who waited the most for two consecutive appearances in Test Cricket
The 2016 summer has seen some extraordinary comebacks by cricketers in Test cricket. The new Indian selection panel had given a comeback to veteran opener, Gautam Gambhir in the series against New Zealand and followed that up with another surprise by giving Parthiv Patel, India's eternal youthful keeper, a comeback after 8 long years.
If players like Sehwag and Zaheer are disappointed at announcing their retirements before this panel took over, some England players might also feel the same.
The visitors have also given a go to a veteran, who seemed well past his playing years, Gareth Batty. England are not new to this concept, though. They have had a history of bringing back old guns into Test cricket when short of options.
Former Surrey seamer, Martin Bicknell was given an opportunity to add to his two Test tally in 2003 against South Africa, after remaining in the wilderness for 10 long years.
Yet another seamer, Liam Plunkett, was called up in 2014 after having last played a Test in 2007. Plunkett is still a prominent member in the limited overs setup for England, but faded off in Tests.
Batty, unlike the other two, has earned a call-up at the age of 39, an uncommon age to even play Tests. While Batty's Test record is abysmal at the moment, having taken just 15 wickets in 8 Tests at an average of 56.6, his First-class record makes for good reading.
India, on the other hand, were forced to recall Parthiv after 8 years as Wriddhiman Saha was injured and ruled out. While India did have younger options in Sanju Samson, Naman Ojha and the dynamic under-19 batsman, Rishabh Pant, they fell back to Patel, who hadn't played a Test since 2008. The Test in 2008 was also a one-off Test after previously playing a Test in 2004.
Patel had also been called up as a backup option in limited overs cricket when Dhoni was out of the Asia Cup. But the Test call-up has come as a surprise, especially since his recent form has been on par with the likes of Dinesh Karthik, CM Gautam and Aditya Tare. Rishabh Pant, despite being young, has been rewriting record books in the Ranji Trophy, but the selectors felt he was too young to be handed a debut now.
Another prominent name in the list of players who have made a comeback in Tests after missing for long is West Indian Floyd Reifer. The West Indian middle order batsman was recalled to skipper the national side, an understrength team after the first 11 objected to play due to disputes with the Board. The recall came in 2009, 10 years after the last of his four Tests.
Circumstances are pretty similar for most such players and it is unlikely that Parthiv and Batty will get to add much to their Test caps. Saha is expected to come straight back into the starting 11 when fit and England seem to have settled on Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari as their spinning options.Published 26 Nov 2016, 13:22 IST