Opportunity for Parthiv Patel To Make His Mark: Virat Kohli
Parthiv Patel was a surprise inclusion in the Indian team for the third Test against England. With the likes of Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik in sensational form, nobody would have thought that the Gujarat wicket-keeper would get the nod. But with the pitches at Mohali, Chennai and Mumbai expected to turn, the selectors preferred wicket-keeping form ahead of batting form. And Indian Test captain Virat Kohli has said the 31-year-old is looking forward to this opportunity.
Speaking to the media ahead of the third Test at Mohali, Kohli said:“We are pretty excited to have him back although we won’t have thought about (Wriddhiman) Saha getting injured at this stage. It’s part of the game. Parthiv understands the situation he is in. I am pretty glad he respects that and he’s still looking forward to the opportunity and try to make a mark. He knows when we plan to take two wicketkeepers away, this is the opportunity.”
Parthiv, who made his debut way back in 2002, played his last Test in 2008. However, Kohli said the wicket-keeper is quite relaxed and excited at the same time to play for the country again.
“Luckily Parthiv’s attitude has been great. I don’t see any nerves. He’s played enough cricket to understand this kind of position and situation. He’s pretty excited to be back and make a mark. He’s been performing consistently well in first-class cricket for the last few years. He’s guy who has experience at the Test level,” Kohli added.
Kohli also said being in a good mindset has changed his approach during this series. During the 2014 series in England, he scored only 54 runs in four games. However, he has been performed brilliantly in the current series. The right-handed batsman has scored 337 runs in the two matches, including 248 (167 and 81) in the second Test at Vizag.
He also cited England spinner Moeen Ali’s example to prove his point. Ali, who was the second highest wicket-taker in the 2014 series, has struggled to replicate that form in this series.
“Again, you are talking about two phases that are very different for a cricketer’s mindset. To me, back in 2014, every bowler looked difficult because I wasn’t in a good mindset. But when you are playing well, when you are in a good zone, you feel that you have an upper hand against any bowler that you play and that’s something that you need to carry on to the field as well.
“Not taking anything away from Moeen, I think he is a pretty terrific bowler. He makes an impact in England as well, so he understands which lines and lengths to bowl, what speed to bowl at,” Kohli said.
Kohli, who is yet to lose a series after taking charge in 2015, expressed his delight over his players’ consistent performances in the last two years.
“It is a challenge, definitely. It’s a challenge to repeat the same things the team has been doing for a while but I think that is what professional cricketers are picked to do and that’s something that we take as a responsibility but not as a burden.
“We need to make sure we put all things in place for us to give ourselves the best chance of going out there and winning a Test match. That’s all we have done in the past couple of years and the results have been nice. The challenge is a tough one and all of them have lived up to it so far and it is really good to see as a captain,” he concluded.
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