It was a memorable ‘homecoming’ for Ajaz Patel as he scalped four wickets at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday, to put India in a spin.

The Mumbai-born Patel, whose parents immigrated to New Zealand in 1996, had a field day in Mumbai, dismissing the top Indian batters – Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill – and he was elated with his performance.

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“It is pretty cool. Obviously this is kind of what dreams are made of. So to be out here and to go out there and pick up four wickets on the first day, it’s pretty special. At the same time the job is only half done, so we’ve got to make sure we turn up tomorrow and then really work hard for the last six wickets,” Patel said after the day’s play.

“It’s [the match is] quite evenly poised at the moment with India still having six wickets in hand. But we’ve done well to kind of get inroads into their lineup. So yeah, it’s a big day tomorrow…”

Talking about the Wankhede strip, he said: “There’s definitely assistance out there for spin bowling and we’ve got a bit more bounce than we got in Kanpur. So as a spinner, I think you still want to try and bowl the ball hard and put it in a good area for long periods of time. It’s really about keeping the game plan very simple and using the wicket as much as possible.”

While he had his moments of success, Patel had a word of appreciation for centurion Mayank Agarwal as well. “Mayank, we know that the Indian line-up is full of quality players and the fact that he’s having his time out there and he batted pretty well and played some very, very good shots. I guess the thing is (we need to) still make sure that we keep it simple tomorrow and bowl in good areas for long periods of time and try and create a mistake. There’s a few times I got close, but yeah, he had a phenomenal day and batted quite well…”

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