In one of the most shocking developments that the cricket fans saw in recent times, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) dropped left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel from the squad after he became the first Kiwi bowler to take 10 wickets in an innings. The Mumbai-born spinner took all 10 wickets of the Indian cricket team during the Wankhede Stadium Test match of the new ICC World Test Championship cycle.
Soon after that series, the New Zealand cricket team returned home and hosted the Bangladesh cricket for an ICC World Test Championship series. Surprisingly, though, the selectors did not include Patel in the squad.
After the shocking call, the New Zealand cricket team lost the first match of the ICC World Test Championship series against the Bangladesh cricket team. They leveled the series 1-1, but they missed a quality spin-bowling option. However, coach Gary Stead feels that their pace attack was too strong to pick a spinner in the team.
“If you look at the reality of spin bowlers in New Zealand in the last four or five years, there hasn’t been a lot of them taking truckloads of wickets. And that’s not necessarily the spinners’ fault, but shows the strength of where we’re at with our pace bowling unit at the moment,” said Gary Stead.
Ajaz Patel might return to the New Zealand squad for the upcoming Test series against South Africa
The reigning ICC World Test Champions New Zealand have not performed well in the new WTC cycle so far. They will be keen to improve their record when host the South African cricket team in a 2-match Test series soon. The visitors have already declared their squad, but the New Zealand cricket team is yet to declare their squad.
It will be interesting to see if Ajaz Patel makes the cut to the squad this time. He has proven himself as a game-changer. However, if the team management prioritizes the pace bowlers again, then Patel will find it hard to make the cut. Gary Stead also hinted that captain Kane Williamson may return for the series against South Africa. It will be exciting to see which team wins the battle between New Zealand and South Africa.