Mumbai Indians romped to an unprecedented third Indian Premier League title on back of some top-notch performances through the team.

While the star players did grab the headlines with their last-over heroics, there was a player, batting up the order, but invisible from most fans, who craved for the star attractions to deliver. But, despite the lack of attention, this player managed to rattle up quite a telling contribution to Mumbai’s title-winning campaign.

Amid Mumbai Indians’ star-studded cast, Gujarat lad Parthiv Patel made quite an impact for Mumbai in this edition of the IPL.

He capped off a tremendous year, that saw him lead Gujarat to a Ranji Trophy title and break back into the India Test side after nearly eight years in the wilderness. His efforts saw him finish as the top-scorer for the IPL champions with 395 runs, his best so far in the franchise-based league.

“It has been a dream season for me. I am happy I have finished as the team’s highest run-getter but the most important thing is to win trophies and being a part of this set-up,” said Parthiv a day after Mumbai beat Rising Pune Supergiant in a dramatic one-run win in the final of the IPL.

He was the cornerstone of Mumbai’s top-order offensive. He provided strong performances through the season and helped Mumbai get off to fine starts on multiple occasions.

“Every time we’ve had a good opening partnership we’ve always gone on to get the runs. A good start especially in the 20-over format helps the bigger players like Rohit and Pollard to play freely,” said Parthiv, who opened the innings for Mumbai through the tournament.

“Winning the IPL to top it off was very special,” the 32-year-old added. “It’s a long tournament and you have to make sure the team stays together for that period. Rohit and the coaching staff did a fantastic job on that front through the season. They made sure our feet were on the ground.”

Parthiv has been in fine touch since leading Gujarat to the Ranji Trophy title with a match-winning 143 in the second innings in the final.

“Winning the Ranji Trophy is every player’s dream. It was sweeter winning it for Gujarat,” said Parthiv. The performane earned him a Test recall, ending a long comeback bid.

“I’m really happy to have made the comeback. It has always been a dream for me to play in a Test before I finish off,” he said.

He, however, missed the cut for a place in India’s Champions Trophy squad, with MS Dhoni still the preferred wicket-keeper for the selectors. Competition for a wicket-keeper’s spot also intensified, after former India keeper was included in the squad in place of Manish Pandey, who injured himself while traing during the IPL.

Asked if Karthik’s selection ahead of him left him disappointment, Parthiv responded in the negative, stating that age and experience had made him wiser to not worry about wageries of being a professional cricketer.

“Honestly, I don’t worry about selection anymore. I am old enough and been around for years. I don’t play cricket to get selected.”