IND vs NZ | Enjoyed watching Ajaz Patel bowl, it was destiny, says Ravichandran Ashwin on former’s historic 10-fer

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Ajaz Patel took a landmark 10-fer against India in the Mumbai Test

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IND vs NZ | Enjoyed watching Ajaz Patel bowl, it was destiny, says Ravichandran Ashwin on former’s historic 10-fer

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SportsCafe Desk

12/06/2021

Ravichandran Ashwin said that he enjoyed watching Ajaz Patel bowl, as the New Zealand spinner achieved a historic feat in Mumbai by picking all 10 wickets in a Test innings, becoming only the third bowler ever to do so. Ashwin was awarded the Player of the Series award for his all-round show.

India won the two-match Test series at home against New Zealand 1-0, when they took the Mumbai Test by 372 runs on Monday. A major highlight though was from Ajaz Patel's historic 10/119 in the first innings of the Test. 

Ajaz became only the third bowler to do so in Test cricket, after Jim Laker and Anil Kumble. His bowling figures of 47.5- 12-119-10 were the best for New Zealand, surpassing Sir Richard Hadlee's 9/52 against Australia in Brisbane in 1986. 

India all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin lauded the Mumbai-born, saying that it was a sheer joy watching him in action. 

“Before I get to what I did, it was wonderful from Ajaz. He put the ball in the right places, I enjoyed watching him bowl. It was destiny, I think,” Ashwin said as he received the Player of the Series award for finishing with 14 wickets across two Tests and his crucial batting contributions in the first Test.

Ashwin revealed that he enjoyed bowling on the turning track at Wankhede, and spoke of his relationship with fellow spinners and Delhi Capitrals teammates Jayant Yadav and Axar Patel

"I enjoyed that pitch, spun and had a bit more bite. It was a wonderful pitch. Everytime you come to Wankhede, there's something to look forward to. Jayant and I have a good relationship from 2014, when he flew down to Chennai from Haryana to pick my brains. Axar, I've been playing for a while at Kings and Delhi Capitals,” he said. 

Ashwin, who has 427 wickets from 81 Tests, was benched for four Test matches in England earlier this year. He now looks forward to playing in the series in South Africa, beginning later this month, and aims for India's first ever series win in the country.

“For starters, I'd look to play a part in South Africa and finish off with a series win. We haven't done that before, and hopefully we can do it this time,” he said. 

Mayank Agarwal was the standout batsman from either side in Mumbau, with scores of 150 and 62 in the first and second innings respectively. The Karnataka batsman stated that his first-innings hundred was all about mental discipline, and also added that head coach Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar gave him the confidence to excel. 

"Feels nice to be among the runs, this knock will be special for me," said Agarwal as he received his Player of the Match award. "Very honestly, I did nothing different after Kanpur. It was about having the mental discipline."

“Rahul bhai told me there's no point in thinking about technique mid-series. 'This is the technique that has got you runs, have a solid mindset, stick to your game plans, the runs will come.’ Sunny G told me to keep my bat low, be more side-on. I couldn't do that early on but it helped.

“I wasn't really thinking of a century in each innings, but yes definitely should've converted the 60. Different challenges in South Africa, we relish as a team," he concluded.

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