Parthiv might open against B'desh
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Parthiv might open against B'desh

Absence of some key players and struggling opponents have prompted the Indians to toy with the idea of promoting Parthiv Patel to open the innings.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2003 21:50 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Absence of some key players and a struggling opponent have prompted the Indian team management to toy with the idea of promoting young Parthiv Patel to open the innings in the TVS Cup tri-series one-day international match against Bangladesh here on Wednesday.

With captain Sourav Ganguly deciding to rest his injured back in tomorrow's match, the team management is keen to try out Patel as an opener alongwith Gautam Gambhir, sources close to the team said.

Promotion for Patel would mean stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag will come one-down in the batting order.

Though Patel was in the team for the World Cup, he had not much to do since vice-captain Rahul Dravid was donning the additional role of wicketkeeping in the mega event in South Africa.

But with Dravid out of the tournament here due to injury, the 18-year old will now get the opportunity to showcase his batting talent as an opener.

Patel, the lone wicketkeeper in the 15-member squad, was quite impressive behind the stumps in the first two matches of the series. He scored four runs in India's opener and did not get a chance to bat in India's second match.

But the Gujarat youngster is perceived as a gutsy cricketer who has a lot of batting talent and could be successful as an opener which would give the teamanother option.

The strong Indian batting line up has not given Patel the chance to setttle down as he comes in at a time, if at all required, when quick runs are needed.

That the left hander has the talent to succeed with the bat is evident from the fact that he scored a match-saving innings in the second Test against England at Nottingham last year. It was a remarkable effort from a young man playing only his first Test.

Patel has played just three one-dayers with an average of 8.50 and has effected five dismissals behind the stumps.

There is also a strong possibility that all-rounder Sanjay Bangar, another World Cupper who did not play a single match, will be included in the team in place of Ganguly though middle order batsman Abhijit Kale could also be considered.

With five senior players making themselves unavailable for the tour due to various reasons, the team management is trying out new ideas in this low-profile tournament.

Captain Ganguly has advocated the need to find good "back-up players" considering the amount of cricket being played these days and said the only way to test these fringe players was to give them the opportunity.

Ganguly has a lot of faith in these newcomers who he believes "have the potential to succeed at the highest level" and is keen to give them as much opportunity as possible to raise their confidence-level.

First Published: Apr 15, 2003 14:43 IST