India Vs New Zealand: Incredible 10-Wicket Haul By Ajaz Patel To Become Only The Third Bowler in Test Cricket History!

photo: espncricinfo.com

History is repeated at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai today, the second day of the second and last Test match between India Vs New Zealand, when the New Zealand left-arm orthodox spinner Ajaz Yunus Patel captured all the 10 wickets in the India first innings total of 325, to become only the third bowler to take 10 wickets (10/119) in a Test innings after Jim Laker in the 4th Test between England and Australia at the Old Trafford in England in 1956, and Anil Kumble did in the second Test between India and Pakistan in 1998-99 at the Firoz Shah Kotla ground, Delhi. However, both Laker and Kumble achieved the incredible feats in the second innings of the opponent’s batting respectively while Ajaz becomes the first bowler to do so in the first innings of a Test in world test cricket history. The 33-year-old spinner made his Test debut in 2018 against Pakistan and has also been playing in the T20Is since that year. So far, Ajaz has played only 10 Tests for New Zealand with 29 wickets and also played a handy role as the last batsman like he contributed toward a sensational draw in the Kanpur Test.

 


Significantly, the English right-arm off-spinner James Charles Laker took an almost perfect haul of 19 wickets (19/90) in that historic test match which came to be known later as Laker’s match. His haul of 19 wickets in a test match is still unbeaten. Laker played 46 Tests for England taking with 193 wickets and made his Test debut in 1948 against the West Indies during England tour of West Indies in 1947-48 taking 7 wickets in the first innings on debut. Laker was an all-rounder too with two half-centuries in Tests and 2 centuries and 18 half-centuries in first class cricket. He took 9 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket (an incredible 127 fivers in first class cricket) and over 10-wicket hauls in a test match 3 times. His best was his historic 10/53 against Australia, the first time ever. He played his last Test in 1959 against Australia and passed away in Wimbledon in 1986.

 


Anil Kumble, one of the greatest leg spinners in world test cricket history, became the second bowler to take 10 wickets in a test innings in 1998-99 during the Pakistan tour of India, taking a total of 14 wickets in that 4th Test match. Kumble played 132 Tests for India and had a massive tally of 619 test wickets—the fourth highest wicket-taking bowler of the world so far. He had five-wicket hauls 35 times in test cricket with over 10 wickets in a match 8 times and 72 fivers in first class cricket. His best was 10/74 in that historic match against Pakistan batting in the second innings and it was reported later that the other bowlers/players of his team helped him achieve the feat by bowling wide of stumps or not trying to take catches off them! Kumble made his Test debut in 1990 against England and played his last Test against Australia in 2008. He had also been a handy batsman having 1 century and 5 half-centuries in Tests. The 51-year-old great cricketer has always been engaged with Team India in various roles apart from the IPL.

 

It seems Ajaz Patel is not going to have a real chance of increasing his tally in this historic match for him as the Indian pacers, in sharp contrast to the NZ fast bowlers, mopped up 3 early wickets (all 3 going to Mohammed Siraj who replaced Ishant Sharma in this match) and later, the three spinners—R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Jayant Yadav (replaced an injured Ravindra Jadeja, making a comeback to India Test team after a record 9th wicket batting performance for India with Virat Kohli in 2016 at the Wankhede only)—taking 1 each and making New Zealand reel at 38/6 at Tea. The Kiwis are missing the injured regular captain Kane Williamson sorely as the stand-in captain Tom Latham falling for just 10 runs, after a good performance in the Kanpur Test. As was inevitable the Kiwis got all out for a mere 62, giving India a massive lead of 263 runs. Ashwin finally made it 4 wickets for him for 19 runs and 3 for Siraj, 2 for Axar and 1 for Jayant Yadav. Surprisingly, India did not enforce the follow-on, and therefore, Ajaz gets a chance to increase his match tally.

 

photo: wionnews.com

The good part about the second Test in Mumbai is that the debut sensation Shreyas Iyer was not dropped as speculated with Ajinkya Rahane going out due to reportedly a hamstring niggle and not being fully fit, even though he was facing the specter of being dropped after poor batting and not being able to force a win in the Kanpur Test. The regular captain, Virat Kohli, coming in for this Test was out for a duck following Pujara’s. Not just because of this, but in general the BCCI would do better to appoint captains for the full series, rather than dividing the matches between two or three. India progressed to a pitch-specific good total of 325 runs in fits and starts, and largely thanks to opener Mayank Agarwal’s brilliant century (150 off 311 balls), his third Test ton, sticking on almost to the end of the innings, aided by an equally brilliant half-century by Axar (52), 44 by opener Shubman Gill and 27 by wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.

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