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Parthiv plans comeback via IPL

It is great to get such an opportunity as there will be a lot of people watching your performance. I hope to do well in this event, says Parthiv Patel.
IANS | By Anand Philar, Chennai
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2008 03:58 PM IST

Parthiv Patel, aiming to stage a comeback into the Indian cricket team, underlined his determination by getting straight to work for Chennai IPL team on arrival here to prepare for the Indian Premier League starting April 18.

"Of course, it is great to get such an opportunity as I am sure there will be a lot of people watching your performance. I hope to do well in this tournament (Indian Premier League)," said Parthiv as he wiped the perspiration off his forehead.

Parthiv, who turned 23 last month, is also aware of the fact that he needs to work that much harder now than at any time in the past to regain his spot in the Indian team.

The Ahmedabad-based player made his debut for India in 2002 at Trent Bridge against England as a late replacement for an injured Ajay Ratra to become the youngest wicketkeeper ever in Test history.

He went on to play 19 Tests and 14 ODIs, but failed to retain his spot and it was not long before he was omitted from the Indian team. The arrival of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik further affected Parthiv's chances of staging a comeback.

Looking back, Parthiv said: "It is always tough when you get dropped from the Indian team. However, I took this in my stride and worked harder on my technique, both batting and wicket-keeping besides my overall fitness. Hopefully, I will get an opportunity to get back into the Indian team."

On the hard work he did in the past four years, Parthiv said: "Basically, it was my concentration that I need to work on and also my overall fitness." He admitted that the two years with the national team was but a "learning curve" for him.

In his debut Test, Parthiv kept wickets for 145 overs as England made 617 in their first innings replying to India's 357. Parthiv failed with the bat, lasting all of 10 deliveries before getting out for a duck. However, in the second essay, the teenager came up with a rearguard action in making an unbeaten 19 that helped India to force a draw.

"When I look back, I feel it was a matter of keeping your concentration over a long period of time that matters most in wicket-keeping. And to do that, fitness is the key. Like I said, I have since put in a lot of effort to improve in these areas," he stated.

Parthiv did well in 2007, when he scored five consecutive centuries, including against South Africa "A" team and in the Irani Trophy, playing for Rest of India.

"Yes, the five centuries have boosted my confidence and I look to the IPL to further prove my fitness and form," he said.

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