Ajaz Patel set for emotional return to city of birth: From Mumbai Indians net bowler to playing a Test at Wankhede

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Ajaz Patel set for emotional return to city of birth: From Mumbai Indians net bowler to playing a Test at Wankhede
Ajaz Patel

New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel is set for a nostalgic homecoming. The Mumbai-born cricketer left the Indian city when he was 8 years old and he will be back in the city of his birth to play a Test match against India from December 3 as the two teams lock horns in the second and final Test of the 2-match series at the iconic Wankhede Stadium.

New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan on Thursday revealed that Ajaz Patel had also been a net bowler while he was on a holiday in India for Mumbai Indians a couple of years ago and urged the 33-year-old spinner to enjoy the homecoming.

“I’m really excited for @AjazP to have the opportunity to play a Test at Wankhede Stadium. Only a few years ago he was net bowling with us at the @mipaltan while on holiday to try keep getting better. Look at him now Smiling face with heart-shaped eyes go well mate Flexed biceps enjoy the moment!,” McCleneghan said in a tweet.

I’m really excited for @AjazP to have the opportunity to play a test at Wankhede Stadium. Only a few years ago he was net bowling with us at the @mipaltan while on holiday to try keep getting better. Look at him now go well mate enjoy the moment!

— Mitchell McClenaghan (@Mitch_Savage) December 1, 2021

Ajaz Patel played a key role in helping New Zealand seal a fighting draw in the first Test in Kanpur. Patel picked up 3 wickets across 2 innings and resisted the Indian charge along with Rachin Ravindra in a thrilling final hour’s play on Monday to deny India a victory.

AJAZ PATEL SET FOR EMOTIONAL HOMECOMING

Meanwhile, Patel said it was a nostalgic emotional moment for him to return to play cricket in the city of his birth, Mumbai. Patel is expected to play a key role once again as Kane Williamson’s men will be pushing for the first-ever series victory in the Asian nation.

“It is emotional. I was thinking about how many times I had left that airport but this time I am representing New Zealand,” Patel said.

“When I got off at the airport, I had a lot of flashbacks about leaving Mumbai for the first time and coming back for the first time. It will be a special moment for me, something I will look back on fondly in the future.”

Also Read | India tour of South Africa likely to be pushed back by a week amid fears over Omicron Also Read | Virat Kohli’s fate as ODI captain set to be decided in the next few days

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