India v Black Caps: Ajaz Patel buzzing over dream return to Mumbai, but says job only 'half done' | Stuff.co.nz
Black Caps spinner Ajaz Patel described his starring role against India in his home town of Mumbai as "what dreams are made of", but he knows the tourists need plenty more where that came from if they are to take control of the series-deciding second test.
Patel took the only wickets to fall on day one at Wankhede Stadium as Indian opener Mayank Agarwal scored an unbeaten 120 to lead his side to 221-4 at stumps.
Born in Mumbai before moving to New Zealand with his family at a young age, it was a pinch-yourself moment for the 33-year-old, who finished the day with figures of 4-73 from 29 overs and was unlucky not to collect more wickets.
But that joy will quickly dissipate if Agarwal and the rest of the hosts' lineup are allowed to build on their strong start when play resumes Saturday.
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"The reality of test cricket is, if you put the ball in good areas for long periods of time you will see rewards," Patel said.
"It was my day today and I’m very, very lucky to be sitting here with four wickets. I’m pretty happy about it being in my home town, at Wankhede, it’s quite special for me.
"At the same time, the job is only half done. We’ve got to make sure we turn up [Saturday] and really work hard for the last six wickets."
Limiting any further damage from Agarwal is obviously crucial after he defied the New Zealand attack for all 70 overs on Friday.
It was a superb show of batting from the opener, who blasted four sixes and 14 fours, remaining aggressive even when wickets were falling.
"We know that the Indian lineup is full of quality players and he batted very well and played some very good shots," Patel said. "I guess the thing is [on Saturday], making sure we keep it simple and bowl in good areas for long periods of time and try to create a mistake.
"There was a few times there I got close, but he had a phenomenal day."
Patel relished the extra bounce the pitch provided compared to the first test in Kanpur. But he will be hoping for more assistance from the rest of the attack, which wasn't helped when all-rounder and fellow spinner Rachin Ravindra picked up a bug on Friday morning.
"He fought his way out there throughout the day. It’s pretty impressive from a young man to be able to stick it out, it really shows his character," Patel said. "But obviously [Saturday's] a new day, we start fresh and we go again. It’s just about bowling in partnerships and I’m sure we’ll turn up ready to go."