Wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel revealed that he used the same lines that Steve Waugh told him while bumping into his son, Austin, at the Sydney Test of 2019, in a hilarious reversal of roles.
Patel, 35, was part of India’s Test squad during their historic series win in Australia in 2018-19. While Patel didn’t play a single Test, he saw Austin Waugh, one of the four substitute fielders for Australia during the match.
Back in 2003-04, while senior Waugh was playing his final Test at his beloved home town, Sydney, Patel tried to sledge him. Waugh famously said to Patel: “Show a bit of respect, you were in nappies when I played my first Test match”.
Around 15 years later, Patel saw an opportunity and walked upto Austin Waugh to give it back in the same coin. “I didn’t bump into Steve Waugh, but I did bump into his son, during the Test match in Sydney in 2018-19. He was one of the substitute fielders for Australia. I went upto him and said: “You were in your nappies, when I made my Test debut” (laughs),” recalled Patel on the YouTube show called Cow Corner Chronicles.
“I told him to pass my regards to his dad (Steve Waugh) and just say those words back to him,” added Patel.
That trip to Australia was historic for India’s first-ever Test series win Down Under. For Patel it was a way of finally breaching the fortress having come close as first-choice ‘keeper on the 2003-04 tour.
“We missed out narrowly in 2003-04 in Australia. To be there again, as part of history was brilliant. To win a Test series in Australia is huge. To be able to do it for the first time, even though I didn’t play a single Test. To be around the team and be part of the moment, makes me proud,” said a beaming Patel.
Patel was also part of India’s playing XI in Johannesburg Test win on the 2017-18 tour to South Africa in his last international appearance.
“Johannesburg Test was a very difficult wicket, to play. Then to show the kind of character which Indian team showed there and to be part of that Test match also, feels great. Having been part of history making Test matches like Headingley (2002), or Adelaide (2003-04) or Johannesburg (2017-18) or Australia (2018-19). Looking back at my career I feel proud that I was part of all these big moments of Indian cricket,” added Patel.
Memories of these historic Test wins and an advice from current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, also his first captain, a few years ago is still driving Patel, also the Gujarat Ranji captain.
“I was scoring lots of runs in domestic cricket. I bumped into Sourav Ganguly at an airport once the season finished. He asked me: “how was your season”. I said I have got 700 runs in the season. He was like: ‘yeh toh tu har saal karta hai, kuch aisa kar ki aur zyaada notice ho. Either score 1000 runs or get the team to win trophies. So that everyone would start noticing you,” revealed Patel who has played 25 Tests and 38 ODIs since his international debut in 2002.
That is the reason why Patel has still not given up hopes of making an India comeback. “It is just the passion of being on the field, just being around this whole atmosphere. That itself is a big motivation. I don’t believe in…whether I am playing IPL or playing Test cricket, Ranji Trophy or a club game, I like to be on the field. That burning desire is still there.”