Ajaz Patel at peace with exclusion from Bangladesh Tests

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23 Dec 2021 | 09:55 AM
authorcricket.com staff

Ajaz Patel at peace with exclusion from Bangladesh Tests

Patel was dropped from the New Zealand's home series against Bangladesh soon after his 10-wicket innings haul against India

Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel is not bitter about his axing from New Zealand squad for home Test series against Bangladesh despite his recent heroics against India. In the second Test against India earlier in the month, Patel became the third bowler in history to claim all 10 wickets in a Test innings.

On Wednesday, New Zealand named five pacers and two spin-bowling allrounders in Rachin Ravindra and Daryll Mitchell in their squad.

"One of my things about being a spinner in New Zealand is to inspire another generation to take up the art," Patel told 'stuff.co.nz'.

"I'm still going to fight the fight to make sure spin bowling becomes part of the big picture in New Zealand cricket.

"I think my job as a spinner is showing the groundsmen that there's something that is possible, and then it's up to the groundsmen to turn and around and go, 'Well, actually, we want to see some spin bowling in New Zealand'," he added.

"It's trying to drive that change. At the same time, we realise that our home conditions, it can be difficult to do that."

The 33-year old felt that New Zealand pitches can be made to aid spinners more.

"In domestic cricket I think there's space for groundsmen to experiment a bit. And I think it only helps us grow as players as well - one, from a bowling aspect, understanding how to bowl on those surfaces, but also from a batting perspective, learning how to cope with conditions that are different."

Patel said he was disappointed with the selectors' decision as he wanted to play more Test cricket at home.

"It was more just expressing my disappointment, because I think you still have to express yourself, and still be able to show that you're passionate about playing Test cricket for New Zealand at home," Patel said.

"There's a good relationship there with Gary (Stead), as well, we had some honest conversations, sometimes they're not the most pleasing, but at the same time, we can be up front with each other and know where we stand.

"Right now, we've got one of the best crop of fast bowlers that we've ever had in New Zealand. I guess it's just part and parcel of the era of cricket that I'm in right now. It's a great thing for New Zealand Cricket to have that conundrum."

"...I do understand the reasons why they have gone the other way. But for me it is still working towards that and trying to create that change."

Patel vowed that the exclusion will make him hungrier and help him perform better.

"That's kind of somewhat been what my career's been all about every time I've faced a setback or a disappointment I guess the hunger grows and the fire in the belly gets bigger.

"So for me it's really about just going back and knuckling down and improving my game, and all facets of my game." 

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