New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel made history on Saturday, December 4, by becoming the third bowler to take all 10 wickets in an innings in Test cricket history. India’s Anil Kumble recently reacted to the Kiwi spinner emulating his significant feat.
Speaking to The Times of India, Kumble shared his thoughts on Patel’s once-in-a-lifetime innings. He pointed out how it was not possible for a bowler to plan to dismiss the entire opposition side in a single innings all by themselves.
He also noted how destiny has a huge role to play in a bowler claiming a 10-fer. Kumble is the second bowler after England’s Jim Laker to have a 10-wicket haul to his name in a single Test innings. He reached the milestone in 1999 against Pakistan in Delhi with his spell of 10/76. Here’s what the former leg-spinner said:
“This is not something that you can plan for as a bowler. Of course, you plan for every batsman, but you never go out thinking you are going to take all ten wickets. It’s just destiny, one of those things that happen on the cricket field. It takes a lot of hard work, yes, but so many other things also need to fall in place. As well as one might bowl, all the catches need to go to hand, the fielders need to take those catches. That’s what happened with Ajaz today, as it happened with me.”
Patel entered his name into the history books by dismissing all 10 Indian batters in the ongoing India vs New Zealand Test match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Kumble also added that one has to bowl long spells in order to have a chance of picking up a perfect 10.
The 51-year-old mentioned this could be the reason all three bowlers who have the glorious achievement to their names are spin bowlers, as the pacers cannot generally bowl lengthy spells. Kumble added:
“Obviously, one of the things is that you must bowl for long periods. I know all three members of the Perfect Ten club are spinners, perhaps that has something to do with it. A fast bowler might get four or five wickets in a clutch, but not many pacers can bowl 15 or 20-over spells like spinners. On the flip side, you can only get ten wickets in an innings if you start with an opener’s wicket. India were 80 when Ajaz took the first wicket,”
“Everybody started expecting a 10-for after I got 10” – Anil Kumble
The legendary spinner revealed how he had to deal with a lot of expectations after his 1999 heroics at Feroz Shah Kotla. He predicted that Patel’s life is also set to change after his superlative performance against India, especially because it came at his birthplace, Mumbai.
“My life changed. Everybody started expecting a 10-for after I got 10. Maybe and hopefully for Ajaz, those kinds of expectations won’t happen in New Zealand but it’s wonderful that he achieved it and I am sure his life would change in terms of how the Perfect Ten man is what he will be known for. What a great thing to do in your birth place, in Mumbai, to get all ten.”
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While the Kiwi spinner bamboozled India’s star-studded batting line-up in India’s first innings, the New Zealand batters had an ordinary outing as they were bundled for a paltry score of 62 by the hosts.