New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel has revealed that picking up four wickets on Day 1 was special after the conclusion of first day’s play of the Mumbai Test. Patel further revealed that only half job was done so far as New Zealand has to look forward to get the last six wickets of the Indian innings.
The first day of the second Test between India and New Zealand in Mumbai concluded with India scoring 221/4 at stumps. When proceedings welre called off, Mayank Agarwal was playing at a score of 120 while Wriddhiman Saha would continue from his overnight score of 25 runs on Day 2.
For India, Shubhman Gill was the second highest run-scorer of the innings with 44 runs providing an opening stand of 80 runs to the team. Patel was the pick of the bowlers for Blackcaps as he bagged four wickets which included the dismissal of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli for duck giving 73 runs in his spell.
Reflecting on his performance, Patel said that it was a special moment for him to pick up four wickets on day one.
"Pretty cool. This is what dreams are made of. To be out here and pick up four wickets on the first day is pretty special. At the same time, the job is only half done. So we have got to make sure we turn up tomorrow and really work hard for the last six wickets,” he opined.
Patel bowled well but the lack of support from the other end allowed India to get in a strong position at the end of the day’s play. His bowling figures read 29-10-73-4. The other two spinners William Somerville and Rachin Ravindra leaked 66 runs in 12 overs. Patel revealed that Ravindra was down with a bug in the morning.
"Everyone was out there working hard and poor old Rachin came down with a bug this morning. He fought his way out there throughout the day. It is pretty impressive form the young man to be able to stick it out. It really shows his character. Tomorrow is a new day. We start fresh, and we go again. It is just about bowling in partnerships. I am sure we will turn up tomorrow,” he explained.
There was some assistance for spin bowling on the surface from Day 1. India were on 80/3 when they lost three wickets in succession but Mayank Agarwal stitched two fifty plus partnerships with Shreyas Iyer and then Wriddhiman Saha which helped the team cross the 200-run mark. Patel also said that they will be looking to bowl in good areas to dismiss the opposition.
"Test cricket is really about keeping it simple and consistently hitting good areas over a long period of time and challenging the batsmen over a long period. Tomorrow's game plan is very simple. Try and restrict them as much as possible. Bowl a lot of good balls. Force them to hit good balls as opposed to allowing them to hurt us with the bad ones. We just need to make sure we are consistent and in good areas for long periods of time.
"There is definitely assistance out there for spin bowling. And we have got more bounce than we had in Kanpur. So as a spinner you still want to bowl and work hard and put it in the good area for a long time. It is really about keeping the game plan really simple and using the wicket as much as possible,” he concluded.