Cricket

Ind vs NZ second Test | Very illustrious group to be a part of, says Ajaz Patel

Ajaz Patel bowls on the second day of the second Test match between India and New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Moments after the end of the second day’s play, Mayank Agarwal walked up to Ajaz Patel and gave the Black Caps spinner a tight hug. It had been more than four hours since Ajaz etched his name into cricket history by achieving the feat of 10 wickets in an innings.

But Ajaz was as calm as he has been over the last fortnight in India. Despite all the adulation that has come his way from across the globe since Rachin Ravindra caught the last-man Mohammed Siraj at 1.02 p.m., Ajaz was far from celebrating in an exuberant manner.

“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 am just grateful to god for this, this occasion. It’s very special for me,” Ajaz said during the post-match media interaction.

One of the greatest days

“Personally, it’s one of the greatest cricketing days of my life and it probably will always be.”

Ajaz admitted that after finishing the opening day with four wickets, he had aimed to get his name on the honours board of the Wankhede Stadium, having spent the first eight years of his life in Mumbai before migrating to Auckland in 1996.

Soon after he achieved the landmark, Anil Kumble welcomed him to the elite club with a congratulatory tweet and followed it up with a video message to the official broadcaster. Ajaz was thrilled with Kumble’s message.

“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,” Ajaz said.

Despite his calm demeanour, Ajaz admitted that as he got closer to the mark, he started getting nervous.

“It was a nervous time. We backed Rachin to take it (the catch) but the ball wobbled and we were all nervous. I told Neil Wagner during drinks that I was more nervous now than I was all game,” he said.

“We don’t have these moments as cricketers often. It was special that it came in Mumbai,” Ajaz said.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 4:23:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/ind-vs-nz-second-test-very-illustrious-group-to-be-a-part-of-says-ajaz-patel/article37845018.ece

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