Ajaz Patel: Culture and positivity breed our success

Ajaz Patel: Culture and positivity breed our success


‘Everyone backs everyone, it doesn’t matter which XI is playing’

On a high after their emphatic series win at Edgbaston on Sunday, New Zealand will now have plenty of selection headaches to deal with for the World Test Championship final against India starting June 18 in Southampton. With a combination of injuries and their decision to rest a few players, New Zealand made six changes to their playing XI for the second Test, and still showed enough depth in both batting and bowling to beat England by eight wickets.
If most or all of their injured players recover, New Zealand will have numerous options for only a few spots available. How are some of their players on the fringe of a permanent spot in the playing XI coping with that competition?
“I try not to put any pressure on myself,” spinner Ajaz Patel, one of the six inclusions for the second Test, said. “Faith is a big factor for me, which allows me to stay grounded and be comfortable with whatever is thrown at me. I make sure I’m still working hard, developing my game and continuing to grow so when the opportunity does come, I make the most of it.

“There is no added pressure, whenever I put the cap on, I look at it as a privilege. [I] try and have fun because that’s why we play cricket. It’s still reliving a childhood dream, representing New Zealand and putting that black baggy on. We take a lot of pride and privilege in that. Every time I get the opportunity, I try to put out there what I’ve been working on while I’ve been away. Sometimes you have to take a back seat, and sometimes you’re thrust in the front.”

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