Parthiv Ajay Patel

Parthiv Ajay Patel Statistics
Born: 9 March 1985, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 
Major Teams: Gujarat, India. 
Known As: Parthiv Patel 
Batting Style: Left Hand Bat
Other: Wicket-Keeper
Test Debut: India v England at Nottingham, 2nd Test, 2002 
ODI Debut: India v New Zealand at Queenstown, 4th ODI, 2002/03

Not often does one find a youngster blessed with that rare combination of natural talent and a burning desire to excel. Parthiv Patel is one such gifted wicket-keeper/batsman, hailing from one of the lesser-known cricketing cities in India Ahmedabad, Gujarat. 

Patel took to cricket at the age of nine, enthralled by Ian Healy's work behind the stumps. Around six years later, against Maharashtra in the under-16 West Zone encounter, Patel made 101 out of Gujarat's total of 196 - that too at the top of the order. Following on, Gujarat made 297 for five to draw the match; Patel's contribution was an unbeaten 201. 

Patel's sharp eye for the finer details of his work and his analytical abilities led West Zone selectors to entrust him with the captaincy in the under-19 match against the visiting English colts. Patel also led the Indian under-17 victorious campaign in the Asia Cup at Dhaka. At the young age of 17, Patel was then named to lead the Indian team in the junior (under-19) World Cup in New Zealand. 

Patel had a stint with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore before the prestigious Border-Gavaskar scholarship took him to the much-lauded Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy in Adelaide. After showing promise in the recent India 'A' tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka, Patel forced his way into the national squad as deputy to Ajay Ratra for the Test series in England in mid-2002. 

Patel had a remarkable Test debut against England, when Ratra had to pull out of the Trent Bridge Test due to an injury. Patel impressed everyone with his excellent show behind the wickets, but it was the match-saving effort with the bat in the second innings that earned him a lot of plaudits. Patel has gone on to cement his place in the Test team as the numero uno wicket-keeper. The youngster might still have an important role to play in the upcoming World Cup.


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