Bowling Sensation Ajaz Patel Ready for India
New Zealand’s Test hero against Pakistan Ajaz Patel, 30, talks to the Mumbai Mirror about his favourite street food, a change in bowling pace, and how he can’t wait to play against India.
“I love everything about Mumbai,” Patel tells the Mirror in a telephonic conversation from Abu Dhabi, a day after his five-for propelled New Zealand to a sensational four-run win over Pakistan. “The energy, the buzz, the hustle and bustle … You can go out 10pm and everything is still busy.
“I am quite a fan of Indian food. I like Indo-Chinese cuisine, Mughlai food, kebabs … oh yes the street food of Chowpatti: golgappa, pani puri, bhel, dahi puri and pau bhaji.”
Patel’s family is from Gujarat but he was born and brought up in Mumbai till the Patels left for New Zealand in 1996 for greener pastures. But his childhood days of Mumbai are still fresh in his mind. “I lived in Jogeshwari, my mother was a school teacher; my father was a refrigeration specialist. I studied in the Mount Mary School in Goregaon West.
“We live in Auckland [now] but I play my cricket for the Central Districts. I used to be a fast bowler growing up; that was my progression. I played for Auckland as a fast bowler. I did not see myself progressing as a fast bowler to meet my aspirations of playing for New Zealand. I decided to try something different. Thanks to Dipak Patel and other coaches, I tried my hand at spin.”
After the win in Abu Dhabi, he said would love to play against India. “I would love to have the opportunity to play in the IPL because it is such a learning experience. At the moment I am focussing on the series. A series against India in a couple of months is coming up. So, you never know what will happen,” he said.
Original article by Vijay Tagore, Mumbai Mirror, November 21, 2018.