Search This Blog

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Ajaz Patel heist at Wankhede

Test no. 2438 at Wankhede – a World record created and India without logic batted again without enforcing follow-on after taking a massive lead of 263 !  - one cannot use the hackneyed ‘giving rest’ to bowlers theory as Kiwi innings lasted mere 28.1 while their star bowler had bowled 48.5 !! 

Meanwhile in test no. 2437 - Ramesh Mendis struck early in the day to remove Kraigg Brathwaite, claimed three wickets in a single over during the middle session, then completed his second five wicket haul of the match (total of 11), while Lasith Embuldeniya also took five at the other end. Between the two finger-spinners, they dismissed West Indies for 132 inside 56 overs. Sri Lanka's winning margin was 164. Having now whitewashed this opposition, they take 100% of the World Test Championship points on offer for this series.  Yet today belonged to someone else , a diminutive 5.6 who had remained unbeaten in NZ low of 62 with Ravi Ashwin taking 8-2-8-4!  .. ..   

Before proceeding do you know or heard of an Indian fast bowler by name Pradeep Sunderam and that his father - Gundibail Rama Sunderam played 2 tests against visiting New Zealand in 1955.  Then there is another West Indian,  well versed with English conditions. He signed up for Glamorgan in 2006 but next season, he played for Durham and took 10 wickets in an innings against Hampshire in July 2007 ~ and immediately after that was appointed bowling coach of England. -  who ?? 

Way bak in 1896 in test no. 48 -    South Africans were out-played, the Englishmen winning by an innings and 197 runs.   George Lohmann accomplished a magic feat of taking 9 wickets in his 14.2 overs giving away just 28 runs.              Every Indian Cricket fan perforce would remember ‘February 7, 1999’ -  Anil Kumble taking  all 10 wickets in an innings of a Test match against Pakistan at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla to etch his name in the history books.  Kumble's 10/74 in 26.3 overs led India to their biggest Test victory against Pakistan, a remarkable 212-run win to level the iconic series 1-1.


He was to be the second.  As at Old Trafford in 1956,  the first 10-wicket haul in a single innings was achieved by England bowler Jim Laker who achieved bowling figures of 19 wickets for 90 run.  By some statistics – Jim Laker took 10 (19 in that test) no. 428 in 1956; Anil Kumble in test 1443 in 1999 and today Ajaz Patel joined that elite list in test 2438 in 2021.  

Ajaz's indefatigable 10 for 119 in 47.5 overs curtailed  India to 325 all out in their first innings, but that looked toooo gigantic when New Zealand began their reply. They were shot out for 62 in just 28.1 overs, and Virat Kohli opted to give his batters time in the middle!  - himself chasing an elusive century !  -  Shubman Gill could not open due to injury and at  stumps on the second day, India were 69 without loss, a lead of 332 and beyond the possibility of anything other than victory.  

The tall man of the day is actually only 5.6” and had played in 10 tests before without shattering the earth – today he did.  He is not exactly young and at 30 in Oct 2018 opened the bowling  for New Zealand in a T20I against Pakistan. Exactly like his coach Dipak Patel did in the 1992 World Cup.   

Today Ajaz Patel made history in a stirring show for New Zealand. Then he watched New Zealand's batters also make history, of the kind that stirred rather different emotions. Ajaz joined Jim Laker and Anil Kumble as one of only three men who had taken all ten wickets in a Test innings, becoming the first one to do so in an away game. He also faces the prospect of becoming the only bowler of those three whose feat came in a losing cause, with India having amassed a lead that's quickly becoming out-of-sight for New Zealand.  Ajaz had achieved his remarkable feat in Mumbai, the city of his birth, but before there could be celebrations of  pumping fists and roars,  NZ had been engulfed in agony.  

If you remember the Q at the start – that famous West Indian is - Ottis Gibson.   Gibson made two Test appearances for the West Indies. In his first outing against England in 1995, he picked up the wickets of Alec Stewart and Darren Gough in the first innings, finishing with figures of 2-81, but was less successful in the second with 0-51.  He was considered a ODI specialist – yet played only 15 making a best score of 52 and 5-42 against Sri Lanka.  His moment of glory came when he clean swept Hampshire in July 2007.   38 at that time, the Barbadian cut down his pace and relied more on swing than seam on a pitch which had sweated under covers to finish with figures of 17.3-1-47-10 as Hampshire were dismissed for 115.  

To add more – in 1957 at Jorhat, Assam were bundled out by Bengal – PK Chatterjee excelled with figures of 19-11-20-10;  in 1985 at Jodhpur, playing for Rajasthan Pradeep Sunderam had figures of 22-5-78-10 and took another 6 wickets in the 2nd innings against Vidarbha.  The man whose bowling action was the logo in 1999 WC, Debashis Mohanty had figures of 19-5-48-10 in a Duleep trophy match in 2001 at Agartala against South Zone.

Well bowled Ajaz Patel – in 2438 tests, this has occurred thrice and it might take another 1000 tests or more – for another bowler to equal the feat of 10 wickets in an innings.  At Kanpur, he looked ordinary, but here he was penetrative, classy and deserves this rich 10 wicket heist.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Dec 2021. 

No comments:

Post a Comment