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A long wait, a rare comeback

ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Had Parthiv Patel figured in each of the Tests India have played since his debut in 2002, the Mohali Test would have been his 148th and he would have gone past Mark Boucher's tally of 147 matches to become the most capped wicketkeeper. However, his inability to establish himself as India's first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman has meant that Parthiv has played only 20 Tests.

In the 14 years since his debut, Parthiv has missed 127 Tests, which is among the most a player from any team has missed for his team during the span of his career. Only five other players have missed more Tests than Parthiv - England's Brian Close leads this list, having missed as many as 222 Tests during his career. The closest any India player comes to Parthiv in this category is Piyush Chawla, who has missed 71 matches for India - 22 since his last Test in 2012, and 49 in the time between that and his second Test in 2008.

Parthiv last played in the final Test of India's tour of Sri Lanka in 2008 and should he play the Mohali Test, he would have missed 83 consecutive Tests for India. This is the tenth-highest number of consecutive matches missed by any player for his team. The first India player on this list, currently, is Chawla who missed 49 straight matches. Parthiv himself is second on this list, with 43 Tests missed between his last two appearances.

Should Parthiv play the Mohali Test, he would have waited for 14 years and 111 days to get his 21st cap from the day his debut Test started. Only three other players have waited longer. Among players whose career wasn't affected by the war*, Brian Close, once again, leads this list - it took him 26 years and 331 days since making his debut to play his 21st Test match.

An early Test call-up - Patel is the youngest keeper ever to make his Test debut - and some consistent performances at the first-class level have allowed him a third crack at Tests at 31 - an age by which one is considered past the sell-by date in India's setup. While late call-ups are rare in Indian cricket, it's also true that the last three India players who did manage Test debuts after turning 31 have all been wicketkeepers.

* 03:00 GMT This wasn't mentioned at the time the piece was published. Has been added since