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Prajakta Pawar in Jaipur 27 April 2013 - 02:14am IST

Keeping to Steyn an honour: Parthiv Patel

Sunrisers wicketkeeper-bat says keeping to Murali was special

A diminutive figure behind the stumps, Parthiv Patel is effective in front of the woodwork as well. The 28-year old left-hand batsman who can blunt attacks without appearing as destructive as some others shares space with yet another wicketkeeper and left-hand bat, captain Kumar Sangakkara with whom he has had a few chats on glovework.

A hardworking cricketer, Patel has been endeavoring to do his when opportunities are presented to him and has enjoyed keeping to some of the best in the business, thanks to the Indian Premier League.

In a brief interview with iplt20.com in Jaipur, Patel shared his experiences while discussing his wicket-keeping and batting. And while speaking about keeping to Sunrisers Hyderabad team-mate Dale Steyn amongst others he also said that he cherished keeping to the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan the most.

A senior cricketer, Patel who led his state team, Gujarat to victory in the domestic T20 tournament, Syed Mushtaq Ali ahead of the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013 also lauded the efforts of promising youngsters in the Sunrisers side, Hanuma Vihari and Ashish Reddy.

Excerpts from the interview:

On his technique and fitness

I really work on my wicket-keeping skills. I put in a lot of effort like going down the leg side stuff and taking a lot of nicks and stuff. That is probably the reason I think I am getting results on the ground. And I am someone who likes to do a lot of skill work in my practice sessions and I make sure that I put in a lot of effort.

Fitness makes a huge difference. I follow the NCA’s (National Cricket Academy) fitness regime which the trainers have been giving us, and plus on the keeping side the drills that I keep doing. So that makes the difference as well. And on your game, if you practice hard things get taken care of by themselves. So that is where I put in effort. 

On keeping to Dale Steyn

It is a great experience. He is one of the best bowlers in the world. It is a great experience to keep against him. To bowl with so much of pace and to be able to swing the ball I think is incredible and keeping to him makes it a bit easier because you know he bowls a good out-swinger, the ball is going to carry and that makes it a bit easier. It is a great honour to keep to someone like him.

On whether he has kept to Waqar Younis in the nets and what it felt like

No I haven’t. He just bowled on Thursday before the game against CSK started. He bowled a few balls but yes it is always great to have someone like him around.

On having a good run coming into the IPL but not being able to score big so far and the areas he has been working on to turn things around

I think the question has an answer I have been batting well and I just need to convert them into bigger knocks. I think I am batting well, I am getting 20s and 30s it is just a matter of time before I hit it big.

On what he enjoys most - batting or wicket-keeping

Both! I have always said that I am wicketkeeper-batsman and I enjoy wicket-keeping too. It is a tough job and I feel that if you don’t enjoy it, then it gets to you. So wicket-keeping is something that I enjoy. Obviously batting is very important so when I am keeping I think I am a proper keeper and when I go to bat I think as if I am pure batsman in the side, that’s how I look at it.

On his batting and timing the shots to clear the field

That’s what my game is all about, I am not really strong like Chris Gayle or someone like Dhoni who can power hit the ball. My game is all about timing. The day when I am timing the ball that is when I get runs and that’s where I get the power as well. I work on my technique.

On the kind of exchanges has had with captain Kumar Sangakkara regarding wicket-keeping

I had a few words with him last year, haven’t had big chat this year but last year I had a good chat with him about keeping and how to prepare and other things so that has actually helped me.

On his journey so far, not reaching the peaks expected after an early start to his career

That is something which is part of the game. You have your good days and you have your bad days and unfortunately I didn’t perform as well as I would have actually. And obviously with Dhoni around it becomes a tough job to break into the Indian side. But as a player what I could do is keep working hard, keep performing and hopefully get rewarded.

On his most difficult or challenging dismissal in IPL so far

There have been quite a few. The first year when I was keeping to Muttiah Muralitharan it was a bit difficult. I have kept to Anil Kumble to Harbhajan (Singh) but keeping to Muralitharan was something special for me and I did have a good success ratio with him as well. After that, obviously keeping to Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma. This year he has been bowling really well so there have been quite a few bowlers that I have enjoyed keeping to.

On one dismissal that stands out

The stumping down the leg-side this year of Yuvraj (Singh) off Amit Mishra, I think that is something which is very fresh.

On having worked with different franchises- how he finds Sunrisers?

I think it is a great set-up. The owners are quite down to earth and they let us play. For us the important thing is that the player gets their space to perform and that is very important and that is exactly what has been provided to us. It has only been one month and so far we have enjoyed playing and the kind of atmosphere we have been put into, I think it is great.

On the promising youngsters in the team

They are pretty talented and that is the reason that they are playing at this level, competing against best. Hanuma Vihari has had a good season so far, Ashish Reddy is one who I think can be very good finisher in one day cricket. So there are quite a few players who can make it big I guess.

On opening with Akshath Reddy

It is a bit different when you are used to opening with Brendon McCullum or Mathew Hayden or someone else. But, I think he is a youngster and had a good domestic season and he will play well again.

On the Sunrisers team and turning things around this season

I think it is a great atmosphere that has been created by the coaches around us that has made a huge difference. We have been confident and they have given us a lot of confidence. That is the reason why we have been winning a lot of close games.

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