Parthiv wants cement his place in Test side

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The newly-wed stumper from Ahmedabad says he had not given up hopes of coming back to the Indian Test side.

Updated: July 11, 2008 08:35 IST
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Having earned a recall to the Indian Test team after four years, young wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel feels lady luck has smiled on him and the left-hander is keen to cash in on the opportunity to cement his place in the side.

With competition from the ODI skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Tamil Nadu's Dinesh Kaarthick, a comeback for Patel, even after a successful domestic last season, was highly improbable.

"Had an exhausted Mahendra Singh Dhoni not pulled out of the Sri Lanka series, I might not have got a chance. So, undoubtedly, there was a little bit of luck involved in me getting selected. In fact, on Thursday, we (Avni and I) complete four months," Parthiv, who last played a Test in 2004 against Australia in Nagpur, told PTI in a candid conversation.

Patel, who married an Ahmedabad-based fashion designer Avni in March, insisted that despite being ignored for a long time, he knew he will make it to the team.

"However, I had not lost hope. And finally, I got the opportunity today. I don't have a specific target now, however my sole aim in Sri Lanka will be to do well and cement my place in the side," Parthiv said.

The Gujarat batsman made his Test debut against England in August 2002, at an age of 17 years and 153 days and became the youngest wicketkeeper to play Tests.

Harsh reality soon struck as the diminutive Patel failed miserably against spinners. But his stroke-play ability ensured that he got an extended run -- he scored an aggressive 62 in Sydney in 2003-04, and then faced Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami with grit, scoring 69 as an opener.

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