Indian wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel celebrated his 33rd Birthday on Friday. Fans and fellow Indian cricketers across the length and breadth of the nation poured in their wishes to greet the baby-faced cricketer.
In an international career spanning over 15 years, Patel has represented India in 25 Tests, 38 ODIs and 2 T20is.
Parthiv Patel burst onto the international scene in 2002 when he donned the gloves for India playing his maiden test against England at the tender age of 17 years. He thereby became India's youngest wicketkeeper for play at the Test level, eclipsing the previous record held by Pakistan's Hanif Mohammed (17 years and 300 days).
Parthiv has been arguably one of India's most complete wicket-keeper batsman in the domestic cricket circles over the last decade. He has been a touch unlucky for not having played regularly for the country as his international career crossed paths with MS Dhoni, who established himself as India's number one gloveman.
Patel has been a heavy run-scorer in domestic cricket for his state Gujarat and has pressed his case for selection into the national team many a time.
Patel made his ODI debut against New Zealand in January 2003. He was selected in the Indian squad for the 2003 Cricket World Cup but did not feature in any games as the think tank went in with Rahul Dravid as the frontline wicket-keeper. Patel faced stiff competition from fellow keepers like Dinesh Kartik, Naman Ojha and Ajay Ratra in his earlier days, limiting him to intermittent appearances in ODIs.
Patel's moment under the sun came when he led Gujarat to their maiden Ranji Trophy title in 2016-17 season. Patel-led Gujarat beat their much-fancied opponents Mumbai in the grand finale. The skipper contributed in a big way in Gujarat's win by scoring a 90 in the first inning and replicated his feat with a stellar 143 in the second. For the records, Patel's 143 was the highest in a successful chase in a Ranji Trophy final.
Parthiv brought up his first List-A hundred to lead Gujarat to their maiden Vijay Hazare Trophy title in 2015.
Patel has showcased his talent with the willow and is equipped with a compact and sound batting technique. Patel is comfortable against both pace and spin and has the ability to step up the gas with his wide array of shots.
Patel has been entrusted with opening the innings for India Patel at the Test level and has also shown his ability as a pinch hitter in the T20 format by providing valuable cameos for Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past editions of the IPL. He continues to be a force to reckon with in the shortest format as he was picked up by RCB in the 2018 IPL auction.
In a nutshell, it can be said that the baby-faced wicketkeeper has carried on his states proud legacy of producing world-class wicketkeepers like Kiran More, Nayan Mongia to name a few.