Pak vs NZ: Ajaz Patel hopeful to take advantage of Pakistan’s spin-friendly wickets

New Zealand’s spinner Ajaz Patel says playing in Pakistan’s conditions will be a challenge

Faizan Lakhani
New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel. — AFP/File
New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel. — AFP/File 

KARACHI: New Zealand’s spinner Ajaz Patel is hopeful of taking advantage of Pakistan’s spin-friendly wickets during the upcoming two-match series which starts in Karachi on Monday. 

Talking exclusively to Geo News, the Mumbai-born player said that he is looking forward to the series saying that he’ll try to give his best in keeping the opponent's batters under pressure.

He, however, said that playing in Pakistan’s conditions will be a challenge.

“It is always a challenge to play in Pakistan’s conditions, they’re slightly different to what we get in India. In India, you get a little bounce but here the wickets are a bit slow and it gives you some turn which can be exciting for spinners,” he said.

“I have seen that spinners got the support in previous series here but I am also aware of the fact that Pakistan has quality batters who are very good against spinners and it will be a challenge to bowl against them,” Patel said.

He, however, added that it will be a good and enjoyable contest against a challenging Pakistani batting lineup for him as a spinner.

The New Zealand spinner added that Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are top batters and you can’t be complacent if players of such calibre are not in form because they can return to their top any time.

Patel made his debut against Pakistan in 2018 in the United Arab Emirates and got the man of the match award on his debut for his 2/64 and 5/59 which helped New Zealand win the Test by 4 runs.

While he hoped to repeat the same performance against Pakistan, he expressed that he has to give his best in the series.

“My goal is to give my best and put pressure on Pakistani batters,” he said.

“I don’t have any personal goals or targets. I work hard on each delivery I bowl and work hard every time I am there, I try to read the batter and then strategise my bowling against them,” he said.

Patel, who had started his career as a fast bowler at a younger age, said that he decided to switch to spin bowling to ensure a career in cricket as his height wasn’t favouring him in fast bowling.

“Former New Zealand cricketer Deepak Patel has worked on my action and everything, he had encouraged me to pick up spin bowling because I am not tall enough, I then started spin and see I am now playing international cricket for New Zealand,” he concluded.