Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - This is what dreams are made of: Ajaz on four-fer at Wankhede. Ajaz picked up all four wickets that fell on Day 1.
Ajaz picked up all four wickets that fell on Day 1.
For all the emotions he admitted to feeling before this game, Ajaz Patel was able to cast them aside pretty well in Mumbai, his “hometown” where he spent eight years before migrating to New Zealand.
On the opening day at the Wankhede Stadium, Patel picked 4 for 73, accounting for all the wickets in a performance he called ‘stuff of dreams'.
“This is, kind of, you know, what dreams are made of. To be out here and to go out there and pick up four wickets on the first day is pretty special,” Patel said. “It was my day to day and I'm very, very lucky to be sitting here with four wickets and I'm pretty happy about it being in my hometown at Wankhede. It's special for me.
“At the same time, the job is only half done. We've got to make sure we turn up tomorrow and then really work hard for the last six wickets.”
Patel, who had family members watching him from the stands, immediately looked at home on a dry pitch, that in fact started with some moisture from under the covers but soon dried out, assisting square turn from the line of the stumps. Patel used the conditions to his advantage, slowing down his pace as compared to Kanpur, and bowling straighter and fuller to bring the driest parts of the track into play.
“There's definitely assistance out there for spin bowling,” Patel said. “We've got a bit more bounce than we got in Kanpur, so as a spinner, you still want to try and bowl the ball hard and put it in a good area for long periods of times. It's really about keeping the game plan very simple and using the wicket as much as possible.
“I was just trying to put high revs on the ball. And for me, it was really important that even though it was turning, I was still varying my lines, my angles and also how I position the ball in my hand. Also with different angles, you get different levels of turn – some turn sharply, some skid on. So I was just looking to play around with it, with the wicket being so responsive and really challenged both sides of the edge. And the reality of Test cricket is if you put the ball in good areas for long periods of time, you will see rewards.”
Patel's pitch battle with Mayank Agarwal, who scored an unbeaten century, was the highlight of the day and the left-arm spinner had words of praise for the Indian opener, who came down the track often and didn't allow the spinners to settle down.
“We know that the Indian lineup is full of quality players and he's (Mayank Agarwal) having his time out there. He batted pretty well and played some very, very good shots. I guess the thing is, come tomorrow, we still have to make sure that we keep it simple and bowling good areas for long periods of time and try and create a mistake. There's a few times there I got close but yeah, he's had a phenomenal day and batted quite well.
“As a spinner, these are the kind of tracks you enjoy bowling on, with a bit of pace and bounce and obviously it's providing turn on day one.”
Patel found little support from the other end, with both Kyle Jamieson and Will Somerville proving expensive today. New Zealand were also stunted a bit for options, with Patel revealing that all-rounder Rachin Ravindra turned up for the game feeling a bit sick.
“Everyone was out there working hard and poor Rachin came down with a bug this morning,” Patel revealed. “He fought his way out there throughout the day and it's pretty impressive from a young man to be able to stick it out and really shows us character. But I think tomorrow's a new day and we start fresh and we go again. It”s just about bowling partnerships.
“It's quite evenly poised at the moment. We've done well to kind of get inroads into their lineup. And it's a big day tomorrow.”