Southampton: Fresh from his fantastic knock of 95 at Chester-le- Street, Parthiv Patel feels that the current ODI series is an ideal opportunity for the youngsters to step up and make best use of the opportunities.
"It's a good opportunity for youngsters to prove themselves. If they do, it would be good for themselves as well as the team," said Patel ahead of the second ODI here on Tuesday.
Sachin Tendulkar joined the list of injured Indian cricketers going home on Monday when it was found that his toe injury would take at least four weeks to recover.
The late realization that Tendulkar is missing would leave the visitors a batsman short as Manoj Tiwary and Ravindra Jadeja are unlikely to join the squad before September 7.
It would imply that India would go into the match with only six frontline batsmen, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and would perforce be playing five frontline bowlers.
It would also increase responsibility for the likes of Patel who have shown themselves to be in good touch. The left-hander though insisted it wouldn't help if he changed his natural aggressive style and look to bat through the 50 overs.
"I would play my natural game. Personally, I don't need to change my game. I scored with it in West Indies and in the first ODI."
"However, it is everyone's responsibility that once he gets in, he needs to score big runs."
Patel was impressive during his knock of 95 and looked particularly good in tackling the short deliveries of England fast bowlers.
"I had the advantage of watching England's bowling in Tests. They had a plan to bowl short to our batsmen. In the 7-8 days I was in National Cricket Academy (NCA), I prepared myself against short-pitched bowling. I knew if I opened, they would come hard at me."
"I am happy that I could execute my plans in the first game and would like to continue (in the same manner)."
Despite breaking into the Indian side in 2002, Patel has only got sporadic games since then. His hard work has now paid off since he is being selected in the XI purely as a batsman without needing to keep wickets.
"I had that belief that I could do it. That I could play as a batsman in any side. It kept me going and improve both my batting and wicketkeeping. The age was on my side. I was out of the team at 21a lot of players even don't start playing at 21."
"I had the experience and belief that I could play again for India."
Patel sounded confident that even a depleted side can give a good account of themselves in the second game on Tuesday.
"We made 274 in the first game and with England at 27 for 2, we were looking good to win the game. We hope to turn it around tomorrow as well."
Injuries was not the only reason to keep Indians fretful at Rose Bowl on Monday. As soon as they had begun to have their nets, heavy showers forced the visitors go indoors.