New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel said that Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli coming to congratulate him in the BlackCaps’ dressing room is a “very big thing” for him and he now just hopes to raise his game with each match. Ajaz became just the third bowler in the history of the game after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble to pick all ten wickets in a single Test innings. He achieved the feat against India in the recently-concluded Wankhede Test. “It is a very good feeling, picking all ten wickets in a single Test innings is a big feat. Anil Kumble and Jim Laker are big names, both of them have a big number of wickets in their kitty. So being alongside them is a special feat and to do in it Mumbai, which is my birthplace, makes it all the more special,” Ajaz told ANI.
“I never thought that I would be able to achieve this kind of feat in Mumbai. Just playing at the Wankhede was special for me. I never thought that I will be able to take so many wickets in Mumbai. It is about destiny I feel,” he added.
Further talking about his feat, Ajaz said: “If I am telling the truth, when I had taken nine wickets, then I thought I have a chance of picking all ten. There were four balls left in my over and I realised those were the most important. I was lucky that I was able to get the tenth wicket in that over, Rachin Ravindra took a very good catch and it all went according to plan.”
“I do not know whether I will get a chance to get as many wickets again but the intention would always be to pick more wickets. Rahul Dravid congratulated me, he came to acknowledge me in the dressing room and this is a very big thing for me. We all know about the history of Dravid, Virat Kohli also congratulated me. He is the leader of India and if he is coming to acknowledge you, it is a big thing. Mohammed Siraj congratulated me and then Ravichandran Ashwin took my interview and presented me the signed India jersey. Sportsmanship is a big part of our game,” he added.
Talking about his love for Mumbai, the Kiwi spinner said: “The main thing is my name would always be there on the Mumbai honours board. It can never be erased, when I took four wickets on the first day, I knew if I take one more wicket, my name would be there on the honours board. I got so many messages and calls, as soon as I opened my phone, it got filled with messages.”
“For me, all ten wickets are equal. The main thing for me was to bowl with good intensity. After bowling 30 odd overs, the body gets tired, and then you need to focus more. I kept on getting wickets and all ten wickets are equally important for me,” he added.
The Kiwi spinner also opened up on how he would love to play for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) if the opportunity presents itself.
“I have always supported Mumbai Indians, I have always supported them. If I ever get selected in the IPL, it would be a big honour for me,” said Ajaz.
However, Ajaz’s effort went in vain as Mayank Agarwal’s heroics with the bat and Jayant Yadav’s four-wicket haul in the second innings helped India defeat New Zealand by 372 runs in the second Test.
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