At the end, Parthiv Patel was left to rue at what could have been. In their competition for a place in the Test side, for Patel and Wriddhiman Saha, it had all boiled down to their performance in the Irani Cup. Parthiv has been brilliant this season in the way he has captained the Gujarat side on the way to becoming Ranji Trophy champions, plotting the downfall of batsmen with smart field placements and timely bowling changes.
However, the one wicket which mattered to him in the domestic season, Saha, slipped away. It should cause some grief because it happened when he had things under complete control in the Irani Cup match against Rest of India.
For the first three-and-a-half days, Gujarat were in the driver’s seat till Saha came in and demolished their defence lines to steal the show with an unbeaten double hundred.
“He took his chances really well. That was obviously the right approach because if they had tried to defend, they would have struggled. It was the right approach and it clicked well for them,” said Patel on Saha.
Asked if he could have done anything differently, Patel said: “We would have liked him to play with a defensive approach but he took his chances and we were thinking that one might pop up and we will get a wicket. But everything went his way.”
However, what caused Patel more heartburn a poor umpiring decision that stopped him when he was looking good for a big score in the second innings. Patel was given caught bat-pad on 32 by umpire Virender Sharma but replays showed the ball to be nowhere close to his bat.
Patel came down hard on the umpiring standards in Indian cricket.
“I obviously cannot talk anything about my decision but overall, it is very unfortunate to see that there are a few guys who are making so many mistakes and you see them in big games. It’s unfortunate to see guys who keep on making mistakes and you see them going on (officiating) in big games like a semifinal, final and Irani Cup,” he said.