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Ranji Trophy 2018-19: Parthiv Patel backs Gujarat teammate Priyank Panchal for higher recognition

Panchal is Gujarat's leading run-scorer in this season's Ranji.

Parthiv Patel
Parthiv Patel. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Gujarat has had an impressive campaign in the ongoing edition of the Ranji Trophy. They are placed in Elite Group A and are on the fourth position with three outright wins from eight matches. The team, captained by Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel, is currently playing their quarterfinal encounter against Sachin Baby-captained Kerala at the Krishnagiri Stadium in Kerala.

Prior to this match, Patel, who led the team to a championship-victory in 2016-17, could only play only one match in the current season against Baroda in Vadodara. He was a part of the Indian national team that played a four-match Test series in Australia. Unfortunately, he couldn’t play a single match on the tour as 21-year-old Rishabh Pant was preferred ahead of the seasoned campaigner.

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Impressive Priyank Panchal

In the meantime, Patel has backed one of his teammates in Priyank Panchal for a higher recognition going into the future. “Priyank has been scoring 800, 900 runs season after season. It is time he gets recognition at the higher level. But unfortunately, Manpreet Juneja won’t play because he has a groin injury,” Patel was quoted as saying in an exclusive interview with Sportstar Live.

The 28-year-old Priyank has been in jaw-dropping form of late and has thus far notched 887 runs in eight matches at an average of 68.23 and a strike-rate of 71.07, which is decent enough in first-class cricket. The right-hander from Ahmedabad also has four centuries and five half-centuries to his name. His top score of 141 came against Saurashtra in Nadiad back in November.

Even in the erstwhile edition of the Ranji Trophy, Panchal had an impressive outing as he ended up with 542 runs in seven matches at an average of 60.22 with two centuries and as many fifties. For the time being, after their triumph in the 2016-17 Ranji, Patel would be keen to lead the team to another victory.

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