With 74 matches being played over 54 days, the scheduling of matches in the Indian Premier League is hectic.
While pundits keep talking about the strain on batsmen and bowlers — as they have little time to recover after a match — life is worse for a wicket- keeper. And if you are one who also opens the batting, one can imagine the workload.
SunRisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel is one such player. He says that while he needs high levels of fitness, a professional cricketer must be ready to go through the grind.
“It definitely isn’t easy keeping wickets in the IPL, especially if you are also a batsman who opens the innings. And things only get worse when you keep wickets for 120 deliveries and then come out to bat after a quick changeover,” Parthiv told M AIL T ODAY . “ Your fitness level is tested, but I am not complaining because as a professional, you need to adjust to the demands of the team and conditions on offer. Also, the rush can be exciting if you are playing well. When the momentum is with you, you would rather keep playing rather than taking breaks,” he said.
While cricketers keep saying that good showing in the IPL alone can’t earn you a place in the national squad, there is no denying that quality performances in the league do help one hog the limelight for a little longer than a performance in domestic cricket.
The best example is Dinesh Karthik. Having amassed 388 runs in 12 matches for Mumbai Indians, he beat Wriddhiman Saha to the second wicketkeeper’s spot for the upcoming Champions Trophy.
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Parthiv agrees that the IPL is the perfect platform to earn a recall to the national squad.
“It is a wonderful platform for players to get noticed.
There is no denying that players who have done well in the IPL have been on the selectors’ radar.
“Not every cricket fan gets the opportunity to follow domestic cricket, while the IPL is watched by all and sundry,” the 28- year- old said.
Parthiv has kept wickets to two quality pacers – Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma.
Asked to compare the two, Parthiv says they are as different as chalk and cheese.
“You can’t really compare Steyn and Ishant. They might be fast bowlers, but they are totally different. While Steyn is one who concentrates fully on raw pace, Ishant is one who looks to get the right amount of bounce by hitting the deck and using his height.
I think the only thing common in the two is that they both know how to swing the ball.
Parthiv came to the party with the bat in the match against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday and is excited that his team is in with a shot for the play- offs if they keep up the good work.
“The team has done well and I am really happy. I hope we keep up the good work,” he signed off.