New Zealand’s Ajaz Patel is happy to return to the country where he was born, but as a cricket player, he knows that the spinner must face the challenge of India in the backyard.
Patel is a left-arm spinner who was born in Mumbai but moved to New Zealand when he was 8 years old.
The 33-year-old has not participated in a top-notch cricket match since June, and he hopes to play a key role in the two Test series against India that started in Kanpur on Thursday.
“I’ve been to parts of India now, and I haven’t really seen it before. India is really cool, but it’s a pity that we can’t really go out and experience India, but this is the essence of the world at this moment.
“India is all about the hustle and bustle. India has some exciting things. I always think it is organized chaos to some extent, which really makes it special,” he said.
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Speaking of the challenge of bowling on the Indian court, Patel said: “Obviously, we know what India offers in spin bowling, but at the same time we also know the challenge of facing India at home.
“As a spinner, it’s a challenge, but it’s something I’m really excited about and thriving, so I’m looking forward to it.” So far, Patel has achieved 9 tests in New Zealand. With 26 wickets, he believes that SG Red Cherry also provides different challenges for overseas bowlers.
“The SG ball is absolutely different, very similar to the Duke ball. It’s quite tough, in fact I think it’s a good grip. But it also offers different challenges, and the bowling style is slightly different,” he said.
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“Everything is fine (prepared). We have been walking around, but at the same time, we have a lot of time to train and adapt to these conditions. Hope we have done enough work.” Patel and deputy Will Somerville may be in India Leading New Zealand’s rotating department in the first test, since 1988, New Zealanders have not tasted the taste of victory.
“We complement each other well, he provided that height and bounce, and I provided that low glide,” Patel said of his partnership with Somerville because they hope to make their fourth appearance together.
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“The left arm rotator and the right arm non-rotator rotate it in different ways, so it’s always cool to play together.
He said: “You can join the team in other spinners and thrive in the game together, because you can communicate and really understand what’s going on in the middle.”
“Sometimes he will attack, or I will attack, so we now have a good understanding. We have played a few games together, so it is exciting to have the opportunity to play again.”