The conditions at the Wankhede Stadium are familiar to Ajaz Patel. The boy from Mumbai — his parents migrated to New Zealand when he was eight — had spent time at the iconic venue, bowling in the Mumbai Indians nets.
On Saturday, he became the third cricketer to claim all 10 wickets in an innings in the second Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium.
“After I came off the field, things happened too quickly. These things don’t sink in until later. It’s brilliant for me, my family, and my wife. You spend a lot of time away from home as a cricketer and I’m just grateful to god for this, this occasion. It’s very special for me,” the 33-year-old Patel said.
NZ’s 62 all-out takes shine off Ajaz’s perfect 10
He joined the ‘Perfect 10’ club, alongside Jim Laker and Anil Kumble. Patel was 10 and had just moved to Auckland when he saw Kumble pick up all 10 wickets at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 1999 against Pakistan.
“Yeah, I remember his ten-fer. I have seen highlights of that game plenty of times. Very illustrious group to be a part of. Great to see his message and his kind words. Humbled and fortunate to be in that company,” he said, reacting to Kumble’s post on Twitter.
New Zealand – all out for 62 – failed to capitalise on Patel’s historic spell. But he is still optimistic about a fightback. “That’s the beauty of Test cricket. Things can flip and one session can change the game. But we’re still in the game and the second innings is still left. It’s about looking forward to tomorrow and doing the right things again. I have a lot of messages to respond to, but I’ll leave it for the quarantine on my way back home…”
Ajaz Patel becomes third bowler in Tests to take all 10 wickets in an innings
Patel reached the milestone with the dismissal of India quick Mohammed Siraj. And the India pacer was in praise of Patel’s efforts.
After Patel’s heroics, it was Siraj who brought India back into the game with early strikes. Talking about his plan and preparation, Siraj said: “When I was injured and missed out on the last match, the only plan was to focus on my bowling. While training, I was bowling at one stump and was also working on the out swing. I knew that when I will get an opportunity in the next match, I must plan accordingly. Today when I started bowling, it was important to find the rhythm and bowl consistently. That was successful.”