New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel told the veteran Indian spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin that watching he takes inspiration from the latter as he has been taking wickets in different conditions around the world over the years. Ajaz, who became just the third player to take 10 wickets in Test innings, ended the second Test with figures of 14 wickets for 225 runs.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) shared a video of the two spinners having a conversation after the match at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai which India managed to win the game by a record 372 runs. In the video, Ajaz Patel was heard saying, “Been a very special outing, dream to play at Wankhede and to be able to come here and do something like that is very special.”
Ajaz Patel also went to share that as a fast bowler and told Ashwin that he still wishes at times he could do some seam bowling.
Special Mumbai connect 👍
Secret behind 10-wicket haul 😎
A memorable #TeamIndia souvenir ☺️
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 6, 2021
Elaborating it further, Ajaz Patel said, “You look at me standing next to you, I don’t really have the height to be a fast bowler. I switched to spin about 10 years ago and it has been a special journey since. It takes a lot of time to develop the craft. It’s been amazing to see your journey and the number of wickets you have taken around the world.”
He also added, “For me, it is emulating some of the best and you are up there. In New Zealand, I definitely wanted to be a seamer, even now sometimes I wish. I am very grateful for where I am.”
Ajaz Patel revealed that he used to play in the maidans regularly in Mumbai, there was a bit more structure to his development in New Zealand but he would play with his family regularly in the backyard.
The Kiwi spinner elaborated, “Early on India, it was about playing cricket in maidan just because you enjoy it with a rubber ball or a heavy tennis ball. In New Zealand, there was a little more structure added to it. Indians are cricket mad so in our family we still played in the backyard every hour.”
Ravichandran Ashwin even helped Ajaz to get a verified Twitter account soon after the latter’s historic ten-wicket haul. Ashwin tweeted, “Dear @verified, a ten wicket bag in an innings definitely deserves to be verified here! Face with tears of joy @AjazP.” And a space of seven hours, ‘@AjazP’ had the verified blue tick beside his username.
Thank you @verified 🤩
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) December 6, 2021