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Parthiv Patel looked impressive in his 42 off 85 balls on Day 2 vs England

A flick off the pads Parthiv Patel gets off the mark with his trademark shot in his comeback Test and ends his 8-year Test hiatus. If you think it could not have got any better, hold your horses. England then set a solid square field, setting Parthiv up so he stays on the back-foot when pitched up. The southpaw, however, came with a positive intent. There was purpose in his approach. He was there to prove his mettle. Therefore, outfoxing him was an uphill climb for the Englishmen. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 3rd Test at Mohali

Chris Woakes did his part. He followed the gameplan and pitched the ball up. Parthiv half-leaned and eased a slightly over-pitched delivery past mid-off. The flow of the bat, the lazy elegance and the panache with which the diminutive batsman played was a delight to watch. He then followed it up with a bottom-edge. Of course, fortune favoured him this time. And that’s what the resilient ones do: they make full use of whatever is offered to them. Parthiv did nothing different. All the same, he made sure he does not leave anything to chance. In short, he played with caution but put away everything that deserved a boundary treatment.

Alastair Cook was forced to counterattack. He introduced Moeen Ali in the seventh over to make early inroads.

Murali Vijay, as we know, is a terrific player of spin. He was not the one to throw away his wicket to a spinner. Nonetheless, Parthiv’s lethargic yet attractive batsmanship against spinners often puts him in a spot of bother.

Parthiv took as many as two deliveries to read Moeen, for he dissected the third one between mid-off and short cover. The fielders dove to their respective side of the ball, but Parthiv’s placement was spot on.

Then came the highlight of the day. Alastair Cook brought James Anderson into the attack. He knew Parthiv had got his eye in and looked set for a big one. As a result, he asked his go-to bowler to contain Parthiv’s onslaught.

Anderson, with an upright seam, pitched the ball on middle-and-off. And Parthiv, with his splendid back lift, worked it past mid-off. In Danny Morrison’s words, “It came right out of the screws.”

Anderson then pulled back his length. The plan was to trap Parthiv in front. For that matter, Anderson was varying his swing. He is a master, after all. He can swing the ball both ways with grace.

But Parthiv is not new to international cricket. He knows the tricks of the trade. He pushed another one past mid-on his sixth boundary.

As a matter of fact, when Parthiv made his debut for India, none of the current Indian Test squad had tasted international cricket. Few were not even a part of domestic cricket not even the captain Virat Kohli.

“Luckily Parthiv s attitude has been great. I do not see any nerves. He has played enough cricket to understand this kind of position and situation. He is pretty excited to be back and make a mark. He has been performing consistently well in First-Class cricket for the last few years. He is guy who has experience at the Test level, Kohli had said before the ongoing Test at Mohali.

Parthiv did not disappoint his captain, though. He scored a resounding knock at the top and set a strong foundation for the batsmen to come. Yes, he deserved a half-century but we cannot disregard the DRS. He was adjudged lbw for 42.

In short, Parthiv’s day out was indeed a blockbuster.

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_)