Former wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel believes India have a strong chance of winning the World Test Championship final versus New Zealand and also upstage England in the five-Test series that follows.
Parthiv seems convinced of India’s all-round depth prevailing on the challenging tour of UK where Virat Kohli’s men will have the opportunity to rewrite history books against the Kiwis and the Englishmen.
The BCCI last week announced a bumper 20-man squad as well as four standbys for the long summer in England and Parthiv Patel said the team has all bases covered, with a strong batting unit backed up by a competent bowling unit.
Parthiv heaped praise on Kohli and company while speaking on Star Sports’ show ‘Cricket Connected’. He acknowledged some of the players who add value and depth to the side across all departments of the game.
Parthiv Patel confident of India’s squad depth prevailing on England tour
“I think it looks a really strong squad. If you want to compare India and New Zealand squad, we have covered all the bases. If you talk about fast bowlers, we have got [Jasprit] Bumrah, Ishant [Sharma] and [Mohammed] Shami,” Parthiv Patel said.
“If either of them is not fit, then there is Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, enough depth in the squad,” he added.
Ishant, Bumrah and Shami form a world-renowned first-choice pace attack for India in Test cricket, with the likes of Siraj, Umesh among others providing strong back-ups.
Parthiv also said the fact that a player of KL Rahul’s class can’t find a place in India’s regular top 6, shows the strength of the team’s batting.
“If you talk about batsmen – Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant. There are proper batsmen who can bat well in England,” said Parthiv Patel.
“Everyone has got runs and there is a spare batsman in KL Rahul, imagine KL Rahul not finding a place in this Test squad. So, how strong this squad could be,” he added.
Parthiv then cited another example to hail the depth of talent within India’s Test setup, recalling how well Axar Patel filled in for an injured Ravindra Jadeja during the home series versus England in February-March. Axar ended with 27 scalps from 3 Tests at an average of just 10.59 and helped India bounce back from the first Test defeat to clinch the series 3-1.
“Axar Patel, who was probably Man of the Series or Man of the Match in a lot of matches against England. He came in place of Ravindra Jadeja and it never felt like Ravindra Jadeja was out. Now Ravindra Jadeja will be back, Ashwin will be back. So, this squad looks really strong,” concluded Parthiv Patel, who played 25 Tests, 38 ODIs and 2 T20Is for India.