MUMBAI: New Zealand’s Mumbai-born spinner Ajaz Patel took a record 10 wickets in an innings but their batsmen collapsed to leave India in control of the second Test here at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Ajaz emulated England’s off-spinner Jim Laker (1956 vs Australia, Old Trafford) and Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble (1999 vs Pakistan, New Delhi) to complete his perfect 10 in the second session and bowl out India for 325.
But New Zealand’s batsmen collapsed to 62 all out and India were 332 ahead by stumps at the Wankhede Stadium after not enforcing the follow-on and reaching 69 for 0 in their second innings.
First-innings centurion Mayank Agarwal, on 38, and Cheteshwar Pujara, on 29, made to open the innings after Shubman Gill suffered a blow to his elbow while fielding and could not take the field, were batting.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed four wickets and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj took three in the New Zealand innings on a day when Ajaz ruled with his left-arm spin.
“Personally I think it’s one of the greatest cricketing days of my life and probably will always be,” Ajaz told reporters.
“From the team perspective it’s obviously tough. But we still have more Test cricket left. We got to make sure we front up tomorrow and scrap as much as we can.
“We are on the backfoot, but we got to come back here tomorrow and make sure we work as hard as possible to see how we can turn this game around or eke out something special.”
Ajaz, who took four wickets on day one including Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli for ducks, rattled India in the first session with wickets in successive balls to be on a hat-trick.
Ajaz sent back Agarwal, who started the day on 120 with India on 221-4, to break a 67-run stand with Axar.
The wily spinner soon got Axar lbw and wrapped up the Indian innings with Siraj his final scalp as the Kiwi players surrounded their hero with hugs and applause.
He sent down 47.5 overs in four spells out of a Kiwi total of 109.5 and bowled almost unchanged on day two.
“Ajaz really bowled well. It was extraordinary bowling by him. My plan was to put pressure on him but unfortunately I got out,” said Siraj, who later returned figures of 3-19 from his four overs.
Ajaz returned figures of 10-119 but Agarwal’s 150 and a 52 by Axar Patel helped India to a challenging total on a turning track.
In the New Zealand innings Siraj, who replaced injured Ishant Sharma in the team, struck early to send back Will Young for four.
He then got two wickets including stand-in skipper Tom Latham for 10, and Ross Taylor, for one, on either side of overs to be on a hat-trick that was avoided by Henry Nicholls.Axar then got Daryl Mitchell out for eight and soon fellow spinner Ashwin joined in to claim Nicholls as the Kiwis slipped further.
Kyle Jamieson top-scored with 17 but none of the Kiwi batsmen survived the bowling onslaught as they went down to the lowest-ever Test score against India by any side.
The previous lowest Test score in India was the home side’s 75 against the West Indies in Delhi in 1987.
INDIA (1st Innings, overnight 221-4):
M. Agarwal c Blundell b Ajaz 150
S. Gill c Taylor b Ajaz 44
C. Pujara b Ajaz 0
V. Kohli lbw b Ajaz 0
S. Iyer c Blundell b Ajaz 18
W. Saha lbw Ajaz 27
R. Ashwin b Ajaz 0
A. Patel lbw b Ajaz 52
J. Yadav c Ravindra b Ajaz 12
U. Yadav not out 0
M. Siraj c Ravindra b Ajaz 4
EXTRAS (B-13, LB-5) 18
TOTAL (all out, 109.5 overs) 325
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-80 (Gill), 2-80 (Pujara), 3-80 (Kohli), 4-160 (Iyer), 5-224 (Saha), 6-224 (Ashwin), 7-291 (Agarwal), 8-316 (Axar), 9-321 (Jayant Yadav)
BOWLING: Southee 22-6-43-0; Jamieson
12-3-36-0; Patel 47.5-12-119-10; Somerville
19-0-80-0; Ravindra 4-0-20-0; Mitchell 5-3-9-0
NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings):
T. Latham c Iyer b Siraj 10
W. Young c Kohli b Siraj 4
D. Mitchell lbw b Patel 8
R. Taylor b Siraj 1
H. Nicholls b Ashwin 7
T. Blundell c Pujara b Ashwin 8
R. Ravindra c Kohli b J. Yadav 4
K. Jamieson c Iyer b Patel 17
T. Southee c sub b Ashwin 0
W. Somerville c Siraj b Ashwin 0
A. Patel not out 0
EXTRAS (LB-1, NB-2) 3
TOTAL (all out, 28.1 overs) 62
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-10 (Young), 2-15 (Latham), 3-17 (Taylor), 4-27 (Mitchell), 5-31 (Nicholls), 6-38 (Ravindra), 7-53 (Blundell), 8-53 (Southee), 9-62 (Somerville)
BOWLING: Umesh 5-2-7-0; Siraj 4-0-19-3; Axar 9.1-3-14-2; Ashwin 8-2-8-4 (1nb); Jayant 2-0-13-1 (1nb)
INDIA (2nd Innings):
M. Agarwal not out 38
C. Pujara not out 29
EXTRAS (LB-2) 2
TOTAL (for no loss, 21 overs) 69
STILL TO BAT: S. Gill, V. Kohli, S. Iyer, J. Yadav, W. Saha, R. Ashwin, A. Patel, M. Siraj, U. Yadav
BOWLING (to-date): Southee 5-0-14-0;
Ajaz 9-1-35-0; Jamieson 4-2-5-0; Somerville 2-0-9-0; Ravindra 1-0-4-0.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2021