He was, still is a baby-faced competitor. But behind the innocent childlike face is a steely heart and lots of courage. He was barely writing the first chapters of his cricketing career, when he, of all people, exchanged a few words with Steven Waugh. Only thing being Waugh retaliated saying, “You were in your nappies when I made my debut for Australia!” Regardless, Parthiv Patel has been a character unlike many other. A fearless batsman, and someone with a high backlift, who ended up scoring great runs and taking fine catches. The frame might have been dainty, but it never lacked any courage. This is the reason why Parthiv Patel, inconsistently picked, ended up with just 1,700 runs. But these were punctuated by 10 fifties.
For someone who was picked in the national side aged just 17, and with a highest score of 95, it remains to be seen how history will pass Parthiv Patel in its judgement of the fiercely talented left-hander who knew how to perform the opener’s role without much ado or worry.
Now, the person who’s replaced the famous Parthiv Patel, just 63 appearances for India, is another daintily-built but courageous batsman, one on whom Patel reserves his astute observations.
A batsman who’s as fearless as they come- make it David Warner meets Evin Lewis. A bottle rocket he might be, but he’s as dogged as any wicket-keeping batsmen there are in the international game.
Parthiv Patel reserved some special praise for Rishab Pant, a batsman whose name will be remembered for times to come, having master-stroked his way to a gritty knock as of January, 2021 in taking India over the line in a daunting contest at The Gabba, against Australia.
Here’s what Patel had to say in regards to Rishabh Pant:
“Rishabh Pant is the future of Indian cricket. He is fearless. What I really like about him. When I was a standby wicketkeeper on a tour in 2018 and he was the first-choice keeper, his attitude and will to improve his wicketkeeping all the time. He worked really hard on his wicketkeeping. He kept brilliantly on the turning wickets in the India-England home series.
He is taking more responsibility while batting. He is playing match-winning knocks in Test cricket. That is something that defines a cricketer.”
As a matter of fact, there are, at least, two southpaws currently in the international game who are about as brave as any left-hander, both of them being keepers and with a genuine knack of keeping and scoring runs quickly. One is, of course, the irrepressible Rishab Pant and the other, being the West Indies vice-captain in ODI cricket- Nicholas Pooran.
Both gifted strikers of the ball on whose shoulders rests the responsibility to score heavily in the years to come. What’s important to note is that Rishab Pant will be keen to score in England, where he will be challenged by a fearsome pace attack including the likes of the evergreen Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, along with the likes of Chris Woakes as well as Mark Wood.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Pant can produce a memorable knock.