New Zealand ready for Pakistan reaction, says Black Caps’ Ajaz Patel

Patel had a brilliant debut in Abu Dhabi where he took five wickets and won man-of-the-match. (AFP)
Updated 22 November 2018

New Zealand ready for Pakistan reaction, says Black Caps’ Ajaz Patel

  • Kiwis looking for first away win over Pakistan since 1969.
  • Pakistan stung by criticism of their brittle batting in first Test.

DUBAI: The man who spun New Zealand to a stunning victory in the first Test against Pakistan has vowed to keep the pressure on the home team when the two sides meet again in the second Test in Dubai on Saturday.
Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel had a dream start to his Test career, claiming a memorable five for 59 in Abu Dhabi to help New Zealand pull off a sensational four-run win after setting Pakistan a modest 176-run target.
The 30-year-old, who collected the man of the match award in Abu Dhabi, said keeping up the pressure is the key in a Test.
“I think it will be pretty much the same plan, to keep the pressure for a longer period of time and keep bowling good balls in good areas,” Patel told AFP.
“A good ball is a good ball in Test cricket and batters respect that. Likewise they will put pressure back on us so it’s a bit of a cat and mouse game, backward and forward, so we will do our best.”
Pakistan have been stung by the criticism of their self-destructive batting which saw them throw away their last seven wickets for just 41 runs. The Black Caps are preparing for the backlash.
“Pakistan batsmen are good players of spin and after that defeat they will go hard on us so we will be ready for that,” said Patel.
Another win would give New Zealand their first series triumph away to Pakistan since Graham Dowling led them to a 1-0 success in 1969.

KIWI RESILIENCE

Patel praised New Zealand’s never-say-die approach.
“To be honest we had the belief that it can happen on this wicket which wasn’t easy to bat on and we kept that belief that we can pull that off,” said Patel.
Patel said New Zealand have a tradition of fighting hard.
“I think it’s a very much a New Zealand environment thing, that is that everything is possible at any point of time and we always go out and fight regardless of chasing or defending a small total or a large total.
“Cricket is a funny game and one ball can change things very quickly so it’s one of those things. If you keep fighting every ball you walk off satisfied and we take this approach in every game.”
Patel, born in Mumbai before migrating to New Zealand as a six-year-old kid, was selected on the tour after his stellar performance for Central Stags during which he took 48 wickets last year.
And he looks forward to playing against the country of his birth next year when India tour New Zealand.
“I will be fortunate if I am able to play in that series,” said Patel. “As a growing Indian you are always passionate about cricket and you watch a lot of great Indian players just like I have watched New Zealand players.”
Patel hopes he can test his skills against Virat Kohli.
“Kohli will be a great challenge,” said Patel of the Indian maestro. “You always want to challenge yourself against the best and he is the best in the world.
“So if that comes I will cherish it and give it the best crack.”
The second Test between Pakistan and New Zealand starts in Dubai on Saturday.


Liverpool face Chelsea test as Manchester clubs enter fray

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah looked in fine form as he scored a hat trick in their match against Leeds on the opening weekend. (File/AFP)
Updated 52 min 18 sec ago

Liverpool face Chelsea test as Manchester clubs enter fray

  • Pep Guardiola has shored up his defense by signing Netherlands international Nathan Ake

LONDON: Liverpool face an early test of their Premier League title defense against Chelsea on Sunday as Manchester City and Manchester United launch their quest to be champions.

Arsenal, Everton and Leicester hope to build on encouraging opening wins while Jose Mourinho needs a morale-boosting victory for Tottenham.
AFP Sport looks at some of the main talking points ahead of the action.
Chelsea’s meeting with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday has added edge after a feisty exchange between the managers over transfer spending.
The London club finished 33 points behind the champions last season but have splashed out around £200 million ($259 million) on new players.
By contrast, Liverpool have been relatively quiet, adding just Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas so far, with Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara likely to follow.
Jurgen Klopp pointedly said Liverpool could not spend in the same way as clubs owned by “countries” and “oligarchs” such as City and Chelsea during the coronavirus pandemic.
But Frank Lampard, who also became embroiled in a spat with Liverpool’s bench in July, pointed out the Anfield side had spent big in previous seasons as they built their title-winning side.
Liverpool will be keen to cut out the defensive errors they committed in a 4-3 win against newly promoted Leeds, but Mohamed Salah looked in fine early season form as he scored a hat trick on the opening weekend.
Chelsea were also unconvincing winners against Brighton in their opening match, but Timo Werner, who chose to join the Blues despite interest from Liverpool, did impress in winning a penalty against the Seagulls.
Manchester City are the bookmakers’ favorites to land a third Premier League trophy in four seasons but face a tough opener against Wolves.
City boss Pep Guardiola has shored up his defense by signing Netherlands international Nathan Ake and has added to his rich attacking options, landing Ferran Torres from Valencia.
City scored 102 goals last season as they finished second, but lost nine matches as they surrendered their crown to Liverpool.
Both Manchester clubs are starting a week later than other sides due to their European commitments last season.
Guardiola will be painfully aware that his team must be more consistent this campaign and he cannot afford to let Klopp’s men open up an early lead.
But he will feel nervous as he travels to face Wolves, who beat City twice last season, after a disrupted pre-season.
City duo Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, while Phil Foden was sent home by England after breaking coronavirus protocols while on international duty.
The challenge facing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of a match against Crystal Palace is how to improve on last season’s third-place finish.
Midfielder Bruno Fernandes was the catalyst as United put together a long unbeaten run, with a front three of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood providing the firepower.
But United have been relatively quiet in the transfer window, so far adding just midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax, despite persistent speculation linking them with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
“When we signed Bruno Fernandes, we knew we needed that kind of player — now we’ve signed Donny and he’s a type of player I felt we needed in the squad,” said Solskjaer.
Arsenal are buoyant after launching their season with a 3-0 win at newly promoted Fulham and tying down captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for three more years.
Mikel Arteta’s men, who host West Ham on Saturday, finished down in eighth place last season but ended their campaign on a high, winning the FA Cup for a record 14th time.
They followed that up by beating Liverpool on penalties in the season-opening Community Shield before the announcement on Aubameyang this week that fans had craved.
“I want to become an Arsenal legend just like Thierry (Henry), Wrighty (Ian Wright), (Tony) Adams and (Dennis) Bergkamp,” he said.