IND vs NZ | Still don’t know how to put the 10-for into words, it’s overwhelming, says Ajaz Patel

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Ajaz Patel became only the third bowler in Test cricket history to bag all 10 wickets in an innings

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IND vs NZ | Still don’t know how to put the 10-for into words, it’s overwhelming, says Ajaz Patel

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SportsCafe Desk

12/06/2021

New Zealand might have gone down by 372 runs in the second Test against India in Mumbai – their biggest ever Test defeat in terms of runs – but Ajaz Patel’s historic 10-fer was a feat worth cherishing. The left-arm spinner is still trying to absorb his emotions after the landmark achievement.

It took India just 45 minutes to wrap up New Zealand’s second innings for 167 on Day 4 of the Mumbai Test to wrap up a record 372-run win to seal the two-match series 1-0. 

That however by no means overshadows Ajaz Patel’s brilliance, who became only the third bowler in the game’s history to bag 10 all wickets in a Test match innings. The Mumbai-born bagged 10/119 in India’s first innings, and joined yesteryear legends Jim Laker and Anil Kumble in the elite list. Four more wickets in the second dig took his match-returns to 14/225, which are the best ever returns for any bowler against India.

The left-arm spinner revelled in the joy, as he looked back at the monumental achievement.

“It's a special occasion for me and my family,” said Ajaz after the match. “To be able to do that [10-for] is special. I'm knackered but I'll use my quarantine time to recover. It's a different challenge to bowl back home, that's the beauty of Test cricket, it's about adapting your game plan and bowling accordingly.

“To be honest, I still don't know how to put the 10-for into words. I'm trying to absorb it, and have been flooded with hundreds and thousands of messages.

“It's overwhelming at the moment (on the final catch). Rachin was nervous under that one, I was nervous for him.”

Rachin Ravindra, who caught a skier from Mohammed Siraj at mid-on to give Ajaz his 10th wicket of the innings, looked back at the nervy moment, as he lauded his fellow teammate.

“Amazing to share ends with this great man [Ajaz] next to me,” said Ravindra. “Great to learn from him. I was probably the most nervous I've ever been under a high ball [for the 10th wicket]. All credit to him, when the ball was up in the air, I could see the teammates celebrating, the pressure was on.”

It was a bitter-sweet feeling for Ajaz, who now also holds the record for the best ever Test match returns in a losing cause. The record was previously held by Javagal Srinath, who had bagged 13/132 against Pakistan in Kolkata in 1999.

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