Parthiv set to break new grounds

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Parthiv Patel said the disappointing tour of Australia and the constant scrutiny by the critics had strengthened his resolve.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Parthiv Patel, one of the youngest players to don the wicketkeeper's gloves in world cricket, said the disappointing tour of Australia and the constant scrutiny by the critics had strengthened his resolve to make himself a permanent member of the Indian cricket team "by improving every day". The teenager said he had identified the flaws in his wicket keeping during the Australian tour and had worked hard to rectify them. "I have worked very hard on my keeping after the tour. I knew I was not upto the mark so I was determined to rectify all my problems. I still have a long way to go," the 19-year-old Patel. Ordinary display Patel's ordinary display behind the stumps had raised a question mark over his international future but the national selection committee reposed faith on the youngster and persisted with him on the historic tour of Pakistan. The youngster has not disappointed them having put up a much improved performance behind the stumps in the first two Tests in Multan and Lahore and also contributed with the bat by equaling his highest score of 62 in the second Test which India lost by nine wickets. Video technology With help from some former wicketkeepers and video technology, Patel identified the flaws in his keeping and worked hard on rectifying them. “I felt that maybe I was not watching the ball closely in Australia, and that I was probably getting up a little early. I got some inputs from Ian Healy,” said Patel. "After listening to them, I went and watched some videos of mine, and I found that what they had identified was exactly what was wrong," he said. Having smoothened the rough edges, Patel played in domestic cricket after returning from Australia. "I played a couple of one-dayers in Ahmedabad, and I played the Duleep Trophy game too. I did sense a difference in my keeping. "I am more confident now. I kept well in the Duleep Trophy game, and I kept for a whole day in the practice match in Kolkata before we left for Pakistan." With the Indians preferring to go with vice-captain Rahul Dravid as wicketkeeper in the one-dayers, Patel did not get to play any match in the five-match one-day series. "It's a bit hard to just sit out and not to play matches at all. Nobody can improve his game unless he keeps playing matches,” said the young lad. Test debut Patel made his Test debut as a 17-year-old in Trent Bridge and was considered a naturally talented keeper but his career graph took a downward plunge with some ordinary display in recent times. But the young man is determined to turn a new leaf from the Pakistan tour. "Such periods come in every player's career. There might be some bad phases, there might be some good phases. Whatever has happened, has happened. I have worked hard on my wicket-keeping now and hopefully, it will be a better period for me," he said. He believed that the Pakistan tour had been a good experience for him and he wanted to leave a mark as a series against Pakistan was always special. (PTI)

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