New Delhi: India coach Anil Kumble on Tuesday trolled wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel for his ever youthful look.
During the pre-match media interaction of the fourth Test against England, Kumble said, "Even when he first came in, he was 16-year-old, he still looks 16 without the beard. If you shave the beard off, he will still look 16."
But the former India captain was convinced about Patel's growing stature and reminded everyone that the Gujarat wicketkeeper has saved matches for India.
"I think he has shown a lot of maturity even when he first walked out in India colours, he saved the Test match for India and it certainly shows that if you really putting in the hard yards in domestic cricket and never losing faith and believing that you can make a comeback into the Indian team then it's possible," Kumble said.
Patel returned to national team after a gap of eight years and impressed in everyone with his performance in the third match at Mohali.
"I was really pleased that he could walk into the match not just to keep and bat at 6 or 7. But when he was asked to open, he put his hand up and did that really well. So that goes to show not just the individual but the character of the player, team comes up before self. He was not worried about failing," Kumble added.
Patel opened the batting with Murali Vijay and scored 42 and 67 to help India beat England, and take 2-0 lead in the five match series.
He has been retained for the Mumbai Test, starting tomorrow with regular glovesman Wriddhiman Saha still recuperating from an injury.