Parthiv Patel has made a successful comeback in Team India after being out for 8 years, during the recent Tests series against England, courtesy of a injury to regular wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha. Parthiv impressed many with his batting, especially the willingness to open for the team despite keeping for long periods of time. He scored two crucial half-centuries and managed to be safe behind the stumps, something which has always been in the eyes of his critics.
Parthiv in a chat with Cricbuzz, spoke about his comeback at length. When asked how did he keep himself hungry for those 8 years, he said, "I have always had the self-belief of making a comeback at the international level. I was enjoying my cricket because of the success I was getting at the Indian Premier League. More than the contract, you test yourself playing against international quality bowlers. That's something you look forward to when you are not playing for India. It keeps you going."
He appreciated the current selection committee who had a one-on-one chat with him and explained to him where he stands, "I wasn't frustrated when I wasn't playing as I never worried about it. The present committee told me where I stand and that's a welcome step. Sometimes, when you are not in the loop, you don't know where you are. If a player knows where he stands, I think he will be able to think in the right direction."
On knowing that Mohali could have been his last Test for India, he says, "Every day was an opportunity for me. I was waiting for it for a long time. I was definitely not worried that this might be my last game or the last day of my Test cricket. I was just enjoying representing the country again. When you are playing such a high-pressure sport, you don't really worry about what is going to happen in the future. You just try and give your best shot."
Parthiv dismissed suggestions that his wicket-keeping may not be upto standard when compared with others, "I don't believe in any comparisons. I have already said this before - give me one 'keeper in the world, who has a 100 % record and hasn't dropped a catch. Since I'm in the centre of the things, usually the dropped chances get noticed. It's like the umpire's job. Nobody talks about the catch to dismiss Bairstow or Ben Stokes or the stumping of Alastair Cook where it bounced at Wankhede. But I'm very confident and more experienced now. I'm sure I can handle pressure and not worry about other things."
"When I was dropped, I wasn't moving well, maybe I wasn't fit and strong enough to handle 90 overs. Now I don't need to tell anyone how fit I'm. I kept about 160 overs and came out to open. I felt really good about it. There are a lot of keeping drills that I have been doing, which has helped me to make sure that I'm ready and alert. I have had a good three Test matches. And the wickets were not that easy to keep. The experience I have had on keeping in Indian wickets has helped me a lot." Parthiv concluded.