Ajaz Patel is all set to make his international debut for New Zealand as the rookie spinner has been added to the Black Caps’ squad for the three-match T20 International series against Pakistan.
The Indian-born Patel, who represents Central Stage in New Zealand’s domestic circuit, was included into the 15-man squad on Monday (October 29) following his impressive performance for New Zealand A in a 2-1 T20I series win over Pakistan A in the UAE.
The 30-year-old finished with figures of 4-57 at a frugal economy rate across three T20s between New Zealand A and Pakistan A. He is also included in the Test squad for the Pakistan series in the UAE.
Meanwhile, new Kiwi head coach Gary Stead believes that the inclusion of the left-arm spinner into the squad bolsters his slow bowling options along with another Indian-born tweaker, Ish Sodhi for the T20 Internationals against Pakistan, starting from October 31 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Stead told reporters, “It's no secret that spin is crucial in this part of the world and with the wickets on the slower side, we've taken the option of a second spinner to bring our squad up to 14-players. We're fortunate that Ajaz has been playing over here for the past month and playing well.”
New Zealand T20 Squad v Pakistan:
Kane Williamson (capt), Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Ross Taylor, Mark Chapman, Corey Anderson, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Ajaz Patel, Lockie Ferguson, Seth Rance.