Its difficult to find words for Parthiv's keeping let alone a word in his behalf. But do Ganguly and others who insist on playing him realise that they may have written his epitaph as a cricketer ?
It is rare, if not unheard of for a keeper to be able to make a come back after being exposed match after match like this with a display of shoddy keeping. Someone who has been written about in almost every paper in the world that has reported on India's games and who has provoked some of the leading cricket writers to pen in special articles only devoted to his keeping is not going to find favour with the selectors again. Already, there is a different opinion being made available by the outgoing selection committee , including Chairman Kirmani, trying to become wiser after the event and decrying the current committee for continuing with Patel !
Dropped now, he will almost certainly be lost to Indian cricket forever. He has become a laughing stock and is being derided by the spectators across the sub continent. Today 60% of all questions from the experts after the day's play were about why do we have to suffer Parthiv. Surely the poor boy deserves better !!
Here is a keeper who showed some promise when he first came in and a helluva lot of spunk whenever he got an opportunity to bat in a tight situation. So, what happened ? He started having a bad time behind the stumps. So what does our team management (captain , coach etc) do. Talk of a bad day at office and brush the subject under the carpet.
As bad became worse and days became weeks, the management refused to give the boy a break ! A break is not always being given a chance to play. Parthiv needed a break from the keeping duties. He needed it even more than India needed a good keeper behind the stumps but the skipper for reasons best known to him, obstinately continued with his , one-bad-match-afterall theme and the result is before us.
Look at Zaheer's face when at the end of a gruelling day, after twenty minutes beyond the stipulated six hours of cricket, the skipper calls him for one final burst to provide the breakthrough that India desperately needed, that would have made tonight's rest a far more comforting one than a reminder of the Gillespie/Martyn partnership of the last test. And what happens ?
The very first ball Zaheer bowls is a beautifully pitched away going delivery, Clarke edges it, a thick outside edge going at comfortable chest height between keeper and first slip, and Parthiv is laden footed, moves so late as to reach the ball with one gloves fingers while he should have been comfortably having both palms behind it with body following. Away it goes to the fence and Zaheer, desperately trying to regain his position in the Indian side is absolutely devastated.
So what are we going to achieve ? A rejuvenated keeper who will serve the Team India for the next decade ? Forget it. We are going to have a team of bowlers raging at the misses madwe worse by the unwritten code that seems to be gaining currency..'give the poor kid a chance to come good'. I am all for giving him another chance but what is being done here is to make sure that his goose is so badly coked that his career is finished. Not by design, I know, but the effect is the same.
Remember a guy called Deep Dasgupta ? Another failed attempt by Ganguly to foist a disaster on the Indian team as a keeper. Incidentally, Dasgupta was a superb batsman. Where is he ? How come he is never in consideration when we discuss possible keepers for India. Poor guy. He was so much devastated by the abuse (well deserved mind you) that he faced , even his bating withered away and he is almost anonymous even on the domestic circuit.
Is this the fate that awaits Parthiv Patel. Looks like it. And who is responsible for it ? Parthiv Patel or those who refused to change him when he looked like he was out of form rather than persist with him until he became a laughing stock and a butt of new SMS jokes ?