UAE's Mumbai player Swapnil Patil was a stark contrast of his smiling self the day before, moments after his team suffered a humiliating nine-wicket defeat to India in the World Cup Group B match at the Western Australian Cricket Association ground here on Saturday.
The resident of Vasai's Darpale Village had told SUNDAY mid-day on match eve that he was looking forward to playing in the 'biggest match of his life' against world champions India. However, yesterday the 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman managed just seven runs off the 19 balls he faced before eventual man of the match Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed him off a beautifully executed arm ball. The ball pitched and just about held its line, luring the batsman into playing forward, but only kissing the edge and flying off to Shikhar Dhawan at slip. A distraught Patil couldn't help but drag his feet as he began the long walk back to the pavilion with his head lowered. "We lost, what else," was Swapnil's reply when asked to describe what happened out there in the middle.
Swapnil was a promising age-group cricketer in Mumbai and was even picked among the Ranji Trophy probables twice but failed to earn the Mumbai cap. Thereafter, he got a lucrative contract to play cricket for a corporate house in UAE and made the switch overseas. While Swapnil had said that he didn't really have any point to prove against his compatriots on Saturday, he had also said that his parents always felt that he should have gone on to play for India. He did get the opportunity to play against India, but unfortunately failed to make it count. "Ashwin bowled very well... I'm disappointed," is all he said.