Who is Ajaz Patel? A Mumbai born Kiwi bowler who created history in Mumbai by taking ten wickets!

A new history is written in Mumbai in the second test match between India and New Zealand after a Mumbai born New Zealand bowler has claimed ten wickets in the first innings of the match that opened on Friday- December 3. Virat Kohli-led Indian team won the toss and chose to bat first. Indian batsmen opened the innings and ended the first day by putting 221 runs on the board with four wickets gone - all four were taken by Kiwi spinner Ajaz Patel. 

India resumed its play on Saturday, the second day of the match, and while the Indian batsmen aimed to finish big, Ajaz Patel has come to bother them with his tremendous and astute pattern of bowling. Patel took the first wicket of the day and his attack continued till he destroy the last Indian man on the crease. Before the match, he was lesser known across the cricketing world, and in the end, he has become only the third cricketer in the century-old game to create a history of taking all ten wickets. 

Yes, Ajaz Patel has ousted the Indian batting line-up and claimed all ten wickets and got placed in the history of decorating the rarest rare phenomenon. He is now being celebrated by the fans and importantly, he has made his country proud from his birth town. Patel, who plays for New Zealand and enjoys citizenship in the island nation, was born in Mumbai, where he has etched a history thirty-three years later. The 33-year-old bowler has significantly accelerated his career through his glorifying performance against India at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, which has become very special in his career. 

While Ajaz Patel is the third bowler in the history of cricket to take all ten wickets in a Test innings, the other two were English spinner Jim Laker, who achieved this feat in 1956, and Indian spinner Anil Kumble, who took ten wickets in an innings against Pakistan in Delhi, 1999. Now, another record is created after two decades by Ajaz Patel, a New Zealand spinner, seems only spinner can decorate this feat. Ajaz Patel is currently playing his 11th Test Match and this is the first time he was playing in Mumbai in his career.

Several players had celebrated the feat and commended his bowling. Anil Kumble, who holds the cap of taking ten wickets, took to Twitter and wrote, "Welcome to the club #AjazPatel #Perfect 10 Well bowled! A special effort to achieve it on Day 1& 2 of a test match." After a brilliant show and joining the folklore, Ajaz Patel said, "Obviously quite a special occasion for me, not only me, my wife, my mom and dad, my family. A very special day for me for sure. To be honest, it's pretty surreal, I don't think you ever believe you are going to achieve something like that. To be able to do that in my career is pretty special." 

"By the grace of God, I am very fortunate, the stars have aligned for me, having an occasion like that here in Mumbai. To be born here and then come back here and achieve something like that is pretty special. I am in very illustrious company with Kumble sir as well. Hasn't been a great start for us with the bat, but we've still got a few boys in the shed, so hopefully, we put our best foot forward and put a few runs on the board", Patel added. 

Who is Ajaz Patel? 

Born on 21st October 1988 in Mumbai, Ajaz Patel had emigrated to New Zealand with his family when he was eight years old. He has become the fifth Indian born cricketer to play for New Zealand after Dipak Patel, Jeetan Patel, Ish Sodhi, and Jeet Raval. Ajaz Patel had played for the Central Stags in New Zealand domestic cricket. He made his international debut for the New Zealand cricket team in October 2018 and in the following month, he made his Test debut against Pakistan and took five wickets in the second innings, which led him to become the Man of the Match.

Patel had made his List A debut on 27 December 2015 in the Ford Trophy and drawn attention from the international team through his splendid bowling. In April 2018, Patel was named the Men's Domestic Player of the Year at the New Zealand Cricket Awards. In May 2020, New Zealand Cricket awarded him with a central contract. All of his international debuts, Test, ODI, and T20 were against Pakistan and while he made T20 and Test debut in October and November 2018 respectively, he was capped to play his first ODI in August 2021. He was previously selected in the ODI squad in 2018, but didn't play the series. 

On Saturday, Patel finished his spell 10-119 and he has been flooded with wishes from the current and veteran cricketers. Former Head Coach of Team India Ravi Shastri wrote, "One of the toughest things to do in the game of cricket. To have an entire team in your kitty in an innings is too good to be true. Simply unreal. Well done young man - Ajaz Patel". BCCI shared a visual where the Indian players and the crowd applaud for Patel's feat and wrote, "Incredible achievement as Ajaz Patel picks up all 10 wickets in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test. He becomes the third bowler in the history of Test cricket to achieve this feat."