The former Indian captain Anil Kumble has welcomed New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel to an elite club of three bowlers who are the only ones to have taken 10 wickets in one innings in test match cricket. Apart from Kumble and now Ajaz, the former English spinner Jim Laker is the third one in the club.
When Anil Kumble did it against Pakistan, it came in the last innings of the game, when the pitch had already crumbled to its maximum. In the case of Ajaz Patel, he has done it in the first innings on a surface that surely has offered the spinners a fair bit, but it has not behaved like a fourth or the fifth-day pitch so far.
Kumble, in his congratulatory tweet to Ajaz, even mentioned that taking 10 wickets in one innings is an extraordinary achievement itself, but to do it on day 1 and day 2 surface is even more extraordinary.
While the ball was spinning on the Wankhede pitch from the first hour of the game yesterday, the other New Zealand spinner William Somerville still didn’t look as effective as Ajaz and that was simply because he didn’t have the control that Ajaz had.
Ajaz Patel kept things simple and tried landing the ball on the spot time and again. Even though the Indian batsmen are good players of spin, with the amount of turn that was on offer from the centre of the pitch, the wickets were always going to come at some point.
Anil Kumble quickly put out a congratulatory tweet for Ajaz as the southpaw levelled his feat
Even on the second morning of the game, Ajaz followed the same game plan and just focused on the lengths, but till the time he got the 9th wicket of the innings, nobody truly believed that there was a realistic possibility of him getting all 10 wickets. The tail-enders were batting, and a wicket could have simply gone to any other bowler at that stage.
However, once Ajaz got his 9th wicket, which was the wicket of Jayant yadav, he got the job finished in the very same over with another wicket of Mohammed Siraj who tried to hit him for a six and got caught at mid on.
Anil Kumble, who had got his 10 wickets in one single spell of 20 overs on the last day of the Delhi test match against Pakistan a couple of decades ago, was one of the first former players to put out a congratulatory tweet for Ajaz Patel –
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) December 4, 2021