Brief profile of Min Patel
by Matthew Reed

Player:MM Patel

DateLine: 20th December 2005


Of all the English spinners to have been tried and found wanting in recent years, Min Patel has the worst record, without necessarily deserving it. After wicket laden seasons in 1994 and 1995, Patel was selected for two Tests against India in 1996. Although no English spinner expects to bowl on a raging turner in England, Patel turned his arm over on a Lincoln green Edgbaston track and then persevered willingly (but unsuccessfully) on a Trent Bridge Motorway. The fact that he was bowling to Indian batsman (not renowned for being clumsy players of spin) was another mitigating factor. Test career figures of 1 wicket at 180 will never be anything other than painful, although the fact that Patel has taken over 500 First-class wickets in an era where spinners have mostly not been encouraged by English wickets is very respectable. 1994 had been one season where wickets did suit Patel, and he responded by being the countryís leading First-class wicket taker with 90 victims at just 22.86. The fact that Canterbury wickets were being prepared for Patelís left arm spin (and Carl Hooperís off-breaks) rather than the impressive pace battery of Alan Igglesden, Martin McCauge, Dean Headley and Duncan Spencer was also a massive complement. Patel may have fallen victim to a classic bit of mismanagement, where he was discussed and rejected when he was in the form of his life and then picked later on due to his past deeds and the guilty conscience of the selectors. There were fears his career may be over in 1997, where injuries sustained while teaching PE and then batting in a club match ruled him out for the season after just one match. Patel has since continued to be one of the most consistent spinners in the English game, and there was even talk of either him or Gary Keedy being flown out to cover the injured Ashley Giles in the Pakistan Test series of late 2005. Like most modern English spinners, his wickets come through prising batsman out with accuracy and nous, rather than blasting or ripping through them, and he is a capable lower order batsman. With the current dearth of quality English spinners, and the fact that England has traditionally selected spinners well into their late 30ís, itís not impossible that Patel may yet get another chance to improve his Test match record.


December 2005

(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)


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