A nine-run victory in the first one-day international on Friday ended a sequence of 13 games without a win in India for the tourists, a run stretching back to 2006. Visits in 2008 and 2011 both ended in ignominious fashion, with 5-0 whitewashes on each occasion.
Patel, uniquely among the current squad, played in every one of those defeats and said: "I've been here for 10 ODIs before and lost all 10. It's just great to get a win here. Sometimes people don't realise how much of an effort it is to beat these guys over here."
The Nottinghamshire man played a decisive role in Rajkot as well, leading a late charge as England batted first, with his boundary-strewn 44 not out in 20 balls seeing the side to an imposing 325 for four.
"They're just good players in their own back yard," Patel added. "They play good one-day cricket all around the world but in India they dominate spinners and they dominate cricket in general.
"On past tours here we've not even won a warm-up game. To win the first ODI in Rajkot was fantastic. We lost the first two warm-ups again so we knew how crucial it was. We knew the boys were ready but what a great win and what a great start."
An extra level of satisfaction for Patel came with the fact that his long losing spell was ended in the state of Gujarat, where his Baroda-born parents hail from. But it is still easy to discern a sense of scarring in Patel's past experiences in the country.
"To play India in 2008 was quite demoralising. We put up good scores and they knocked them off; they put up good scores and we got nowhere near them," he said.
If those sentiments suggest a difficult track record then Patel is clear about the best way to put that right - by repeating the success of Rajkot and helping England to only a second series win in India and their first since 1984-85, starting with the second ODI which takes place in Kochi on Tuesday.
"I think the way we've learned how to play their spinners is outstanding and a credit to us as a team because in past tours we've struggled," he said. "It just shows if you put in the hard yards and you learn you get your rewards."