“Beyond My Wildest Of Dreams”: Ajaz Patel To NDTV On His 10-Wicket Haul Against India | Cricket News
Picking 10 wickets in a Test match innings was “beyond imagination” for New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, so much so that the remarkable achievement was not even in the Mumbai-born cricketer’s bucket list. Patel became the third cricketer – after England’s Jim Laker and India’s Anil Kumble – in the history of the game to pick all 10 wickets in an innings of a Test match. The left-arm spinner achieved the feat which he described to NDTV as “beyond any of his wildest dreams” on Day 2 of the second Test match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“I don’t even think it (10-for in an innings) was on my bucket list. It was beyond imagination. I don’t think you even dream of achieving something as special as that. You need a lot of luck to go your away to be able achieve something like that. It was very very special, beyond any of my wildest dreams,” Patel told NDTV on Tuesday.
Patel returned with figures of 10 for 119 – the best-ever by any visiting bowler on Indian soil – in the first innings of the Mumbai Test.
The 33-year-old dismissed Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav and Mohammed Siraj to become the first New Zealand cricketer to pick a 10-wicket haul in an innings.
Patel said he was more “amazed” than tensed at the prospect of getting all 10 wickets when he had got the ninth Indian wicket on Saturday (December 4). “The record didn’t even come to my mind. When I got the 9th wicket, I was thinking how amazing would it be to get 10. It was more the amazement of being in a position to be able to pick up all 10,” he said.
If picking 10 wickets in an innings wasn’t special enough, Patel achieved the feat in Mumbai, where he was born.
“Very special to be able to do it in Mumbai. I never thought picking 10 would be possible against India in Wankhede. It was kind of an amazing script,” added Patel.
Patel, who picked four more wickets in India’s second innings to return with a match-haul of 14 wickets, said all the 10 wickets in the first innings were special.
“All of them hold special place in my memory. They all contributed to the perfect 10. Each one of them is special in their own rights. I know the work, how I tried to get each of those wickets,” he said with a big smile on his face.
So special was Patel’s achievement that even the Indian cricketers could not stop singing his praise and it was off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who was at the forefront of it all. He presented Patel with a jersey signed by all the Indian cricketers after the Test match.
“I had goose bumps when I got presented with that jersey by Ashwin. It was a very nice touch from the Indian team and will hold a special part in my journey. I’m sure I’ll look back at it remembering some good times and also the hard times in Mumbai,” Patel said.
Despite Patel’s heroics, New Zealand beaten comfortably. India won the Test by 372 runs – their biggest victory margin in Test cricket – to clinch the two-match series.
“Disappointed not to be able to achieve a little more as a team. But we’re proud on the fight that we’ve shown. To be able to stick it out there for three days… The bowlers were tired but everyone kept working hard; gave their best. But that’s how sport is, it sometimes doesn’t go your way but we’re going to learn a lot and hopefully the next time we’re here, we can really challenge.
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