A stylish right-handed batsman and wily left-arm spinner to provide Nottinghamshire, and England, an all-round threat.
Having enjoyed a breakthrough season for Nottinghamshire in 2007 - he hit four hundreds in the championship and finished the campaign with an average of 52.17 - Patel made his international debut the following year.
However, having appeared in 11 one-day internationals, he found himself out of the reckoning due to concerns over his weight and fitness.
An England absence of nearly three years followed but, after heeding the advice given to him, Patel - who had consistently shone for Nottinghamshire in the meantime - returned to the fold against Sri Lanka in 2011. Later that year he hit an unbeaten 43-ball 70 against India at Mohali.
He aimed to boost his Test prospects by not entering the 2012 Indian Premier League auction - a move that paid dividends when he made his debut against Sri Lanka.
Patel had to make do with limited-overs internationals that summer and then top-scored with 67 in England’s World Twenty20-exiting defeat to hosts Sri Lanka.
He continued to feature for his country that winter but lost his place in the summer of 2013, which he ended by helping Notts win the Yorkshire Bank 40.
The all-rounder had his best return to date with the bat in 2014 in first-class cricket, scoring 1,125 runs. He therefore earned himself a place on the England Performance Programme tour to Sri Lanka.