Born in Mumbai, and now 25 years later, Ajaz Patel will play for NZ here

Born in Mumbai, and now 25 years later, Ajaz Patel will play for NZ here

Ajaz Patel is back where he left from. The left-arm spinner was just a month-old baby when New Zealand last played a Test in Mumbai. And when Ajaz left Mumbai, the ‘City of Dreams’ as everyone calls it, as an eight-year-old kid, returning to play a Test here may have not even been in his wildest of imaginations. But here he is, 25 years later, preparing himself to play a Test in the city for his country, which he now calls his home.

I have lots of flashbacks of Mumbai – Ajaz
“I have got various members of the family coming in on different days of the game,” he said. “I guess it’s the beauty of Test cricket. Everyone can come in on days that they are free.
 
“I don’t think about it [playing in front of the family] as pressure, it’s more of excitement. I know we didn’t get off at the airport. I have got a lot of flashbacks – leaving Mumbai for the first time and coming back to Mumbai for the first time, coming to Mumbai for a wedding and stuff like that. For me, it’s going to be a very, very special moment.”
Special for me and Rachin saving that match – Ajaz 
Kanpur Test will go down as one of the most thrilling test matches, of this century at least. And Ajaz had a big hand in it. Though he was not able to strike wickets, he kept bowling tight which lead the seamers to crack batsmen under pressure. Bowling wasn’t the only contribution of Ajaz. Perhaps his biggest contribution was that with the bat. Rachin and Ajaz played eight overs together – with Ajaz facing 23 deliveries – with one wicket in hand to save the match. Ajaz said it was “a very cool moment” for the two Indian-origin players to be fighting for a draw against a strong home side and that in itself is an interesting story.
 
“He [Ravindra] was calm out there. He has got a great head on his shoulders,” Ajaz said. “We spoke about playing the ball as straight as possible. If it goes past the outside edge, it goes past the outside edge but as long as we keep the stumps out of play and not get out in front of pads – that’s the most important part. I don’t think at any point I thought about the outcome, and I am not really sure if Rachin did. It makes things a lot easier.
 
“Against the irony of us at home – towards the back end of the game and after the game was over – the two boys of Indian heritage, being brought up in New Zealand, playing against one of the biggest cricketing nations, trying to fight for a draw and that I suppose, [is] quite an amazing story in itself. It was special for us to be out there, and I thought that was quite fitting.”
 

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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