Parthiv Ajay Patel
March 09, 1985, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Left hand bat
Right arm offbreak
A pocket-sized attacking wicket-keeper-batsman, Parthiv Patel entered the international scene in 2002 when, at 17 years and 153 days, he became Test cricket's youngest wicketkeeper after making his debut at Trent Bridge. Initially, Parthiv's glovework varied from competent to shoddy, but it was his ability with the bat that got him an extended run with the national side. But, his increasingly sloppy work behind the stumps saw him lose his place in 2004, and with the emergence of Dinesh Karthik and then MS Dhoni, Parthiv went further down in the pecking order.
Parthiv made sporadic comebacks but with Dhoni firmly entrenched in the limited-overs sides, he had to compete for the second keeper's slot with Wriddhiman Saha - who became the first-choice wicket-keeper in Tests following Dhoni's retirement - Naman Ojha and Karthik. Parthiv tweaked his training methods - he split his day into two exclusive sessions of batting and keeping - to ensure optimum fitness and performance levels, and it began to pay off.
In IPL 2015, Parthiv, after a lukewarm beginning, struck form in the latter half of the tournament and tallied 339 runs to finish as the fourth-leading batsman in Mumbai Indians' victorious campaign. Later in the year, Parthiv brought up his first List-A hundred to lead Gujarat to their maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy title. The runs began to flow as he racked up four fifties from nine innings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and a century against India A in the Deodhar Trophy.
In February 2016, four years after he last played an international game, Parthiv's consistency was rewarded with a call-up to India's squad as a stand-by for the injured Dhoni. He began the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy well with the bat, too, with three fifties and a hundred in his first five games, and got an even bigger reward when he was called up to the Test team during the home series against England, when Saha was injured.
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