Owing to some injuries and an aim to test out a few players, New Zealand made as many as 6 changes to the playing XI for the second Test against England, which they eventually won quite comfortably. New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel, who is not a regular in the side, also got the opportunity to participate in the second Test and he grabbed it with both hands.
Ajaz Patel scalped four wickets in the Test at Edgbaston and also ensured he kept the hosts from progressing by more runs. The debutant bowled eight maidens in 23 overs with an economy rate under three in both innings.
“I try not to put any pressure on myself,” spinner Ajaz Patel, one of the six inclusions in the Black Caps for the second Test, said. “Faith is a big factor for me, which allows me to stay grounded and be comfortable with whatever is thrown at me. I make sure I’m still working hard, developing my game and continuing to grow so when the opportunity does come, I make the most of it.
“There is no added pressure, whenever I put the cap on, I look at it as a privilege. I try and have fun because that’s why we play cricket. It’s still reliving a childhood dream, representing New Zealand and putting that black baggy on. We take a lot of pride and privilege in that. Every time I get the opportunity, I try to put out there what I’ve been working on while I’ve been away. Sometimes you have to take a back seat, and sometimes you’re thrust in the front.”
Ajaz Patel further shed light on the team culture which has helped them become a force to be reckoned with in recent years.
“The culture around this team is very good. Everyone is quite positive, there is no negativity, and that breeds so much success we have. Everyone backs everyone, it doesn’t matter which XI is playing. Everyone has been putting in a 100% and it was from the guys that weren’t playing to the guys that were in the playing XI.”
For New Zealand, they achieved a remarkable feat by winning the second Test after the first one ended in a draw. With this series win, they also brought home their first Test series victory in England since 1999.
India and New Zealand will play the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final, beginning 18th June 2021.
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