20 October, 2020

Hello, Goodbye

India has had nine wicketkeepers in the last seven years. Why are we so stumped over this key position?

Pradeep Mandhani
Hello, Goodbye
Tiny Parthiv Patel’s ‘kid glovework’ was probably one reason why India couldn’t win the Test series Down Under after coming agonisingly close. The Aussie tour was a litmus test for the cub keeper, who would have been hailed as a hero if he’d kept even reasonably well. But he kept fumbling and dropping straight catches and missing regulation stumpings with alarming regularity through the four Tests.

A wicketkeeper with butter fingers is a bad advertisement for a side already at a disadvantage because of injuries to its leading bowlers. Rather than giving confidence to the bowlers, Parthiv’s rather timid presence behind the wickets often demoralises them. "How can you expect a keeper who isn’t confident of his own ability to lift the morale of his bowlers? Of course, there are certain flaws in his wicketkeeping, but I think Parthiv’s major problem lies in the mind, not in technique," says former India stumper Surinder Khanna.

"Parthiv can’t reach lifting deliveries. Nor does he react quickly enough to edges or stumping chances. He isn’t good enough...



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