Parthiv Patel, the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, who was recalled into the Test side after a gap of eight years in the Mohali game against England, made a mark before the selectors and scored in both the innings.
Usually, whenever a cricketer makes a comeback after such a long time, there is bit of tentativeness and lack of self confidence. But not was the case with Patel, who had made his Test debut at the age of 17.
Opening the batting for India, walking out to the middle with Murali Vijay, the 31-year-old left hander made a classy 42 in the first innings. Those 42 runs, which he scored with absolutely no discomfort, showed how much it meant for him to don the India whites back again.
The wicketkeeper-batsman followed it up with a rapid fire unbeaten 67 off 54 balls in the second innings and help his side win the match comfortably by eight wickets and take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. The cherry on top was of course hitting the winning runs to sum up a great Test match on comeback.
"It was a great moment for me. I have been a part of Test matches before but I had never ever hit the winning runs," Patel was quoted as saying by BCCI.tv.
"As a batsman, it feels great to finish off the game. To get the winning runs after making a comeback is a proud moment for me. Virat was at the other end and he said he was very happy to see me getting runs. Playing for your country is the biggest honour and making a comeback is even harder. He along with other teammates made me comfortable as and it was pleasing to get runs for the team," he added.
The dashing left-hander insisted his experience and sublime form in first-class cricket helped him to calm down the nerves.
"Having played domestic cricket for long, I know my game well. I was always backing myself to get runs. I was in very good form in first-class cricket and I wanted to make this opportunity count. I wanted to continue that form into this Test match. It is the kind of energy you need to take while you are batting. The most important part is to get runs in the game and if you are getting them, you release a lot of pressure off yourself and from the partner who is batting with you at the other end," he said.
"I played well in the first innings as well but it was necessary to show intent in the second innings, especially when you are chasing a low score. I am glad I could get a fifty in the second innings and stay there till the end for the team," he added.
Test skipper Virat Kohli was also impressed with Patel's fearless approach saying, "It was amazing to see the way he approached both innings," Kohli said.
"That's where experience from the first-class level comes into play. He's someone who's played [for India] at a very early age and he's come back and the intent he showed in both innings, I think, just deflated the opposition. Credit to him to go out there and counter attack and take on their seamers. I think he really stood out in this game as a batsman," Kohli added.
Apart from batting, the Indian Test skipper also showered praise on Parthiv's glovework, but the wicketkeeper-batsman feels that there is always room for improvement.
"I am happy with the way I kept wickets but I can always get better. To keep wickets in this kind of a wicket was not as easy as it looked like but now I have some time to work on it. There is always room for improvement. Hopefully, I can come out better the next time I keep wickets," the 31-year-old said.
Patel also said the "kind of welcome and vibes" he got into the dressing room was also very helpful for him to feel at home and be at ease.
"Coming after eight years and wearing India whites, you are a bit nervous before the start of the Test match or while you are preparing for that moment to play for India. The guys welcomed me and it never felt like I was coming back to the dressing room after a huge gap," he said.
With such an impressive performance with both bat and gloves, Patel has now put forth a strong contention for his inclusion in the fourth match to be played in Mumbai beginning December 8 and it would be interesting to see whether the team management calls back Wriddhiman Saha or sticks with the 31-year-old left hander.