This is what dreams are made of, said New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel after the end of day’s play in Mumbai on Friday. He had picked up four wickets... all four that fell in India’s innings. A couple of special ones in there. Cheteshwar Pujara for a duck. Virat Kohli (rather controversially) for a duck. The hero of the Kanpur Test in Shreyas Iyer.

Oh, the dream was only getting started it would now seem.

The left-arm spinner finished with all 10 Indian wickets in the first innings of the second Test on Saturday, becoming only the third man in cricket history to achieve the feat.

Ajaz, a left-arm spinner, added to his tally of four wickets on the opening day to return figures of 10-119. India were all out for 325.

Born in Mumbai, Ajaz made it a special homecoming. Even before the match began, he spoke about how special it was to come to Mumbai and play Test cricket. And it became a whole lot more memorable by the time India’s first innings came to an end.

England off-spinner Jim Laker was the first bowler to take a Test ten-for, against Australia in 1956 at Old Trafford.

Indian spin ace Anil Kumble is the only other player ever to do so, against Pakistan in 1999 at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla.

Ajaz rattled India in the first session with wickets in successive balls to be on a hat-trick before overnight batsman Mayank Agarwal scored 150 to help India to a challenging total.

Ajaz sent back Agarwal, who started the day on 120 with India on 221-4, to break a 67-run stand involving Axar Patel, who made 52.

The wily spinner soon got Axar lbw and wrapped up the Indian innings to be surrounded by jubilant Kiwi players.

One of the toughest feats in cricket: Reactions to Ajaz Patel taking ten wickets in an innings

Pause, rewind, play: Jim Laker and the cricketing record that is unlikely to be ever broken

10-wicket hauls in Test cricket

Player Overs Mdns Runs Wkts Opposition Ground Match start date
Jim Laker (ENG) 51.2 23 53 10 v Australia Manchester 26 Jul 1956
Anil Kumble (IND) 26.3 9 74 10 v Pakistan Delhi 4 Feb 1999
Ajaz Patel (NZ) 47.5 12 119 10 v India Mumbai 3 Dec 2021 

The scorecard is something Ajaz Patel will never forget in his life:


Here’s a look at the best figures in men’s Test cricket history:

Ajaz Patel’s feat ensured that the 10-wicket club remains exclusive for spinners.

Ajaz also became the first bowler to pick up 10 in an innings away from home (Home away from home, if you will.)

Best away figures in a men's Test innings

Player Runs Wkts Inns Opposition Ground Start Date
AY Patel (NZ) 119 10 1 v India Mumbai 3 Dec 2021
GA Lohmann (ENG) 28 9 2 v South Africa Johannesburg 2 Mar 1896
Sir RJ Hadlee (NZ) 52 9 1 v Australia Brisbane 8 Nov 1985
M Muralitharan (SL) 65 9 3 v England The Oval 27 Aug 1998
Sarfraz Nawaz (PAK) 86 9 4 v Australia Melbourne 10 Mar 1979
SF Barnes (ENG) 103 9 3 v South Africa Johannesburg 26 Dec 1913
KA Maharaj (SA) 129 9 1 v Sri Lanka Colombo (SSC) 20 Jul 2018

Ajaz Patel, during the course of the spell, became the first New Zealander to pick up more than 7 wickets vs India in an innings. By the time he was done, he became the proud owner of the best figures in history by a New Zealand bowler in men’s Test cricket.

Best figures by NZ bowlers

Player Runs Wkts Econ Inns Opposition Ground Start Date
AY Patel 119 10 2.48 1 v India Mumbai 3 Dec 2021
Sir RJ Hadlee 52 9 2.19 1 v Australia Brisbane 8 Nov 1985

Here are some more stats from the incredible feat:

All stats courtesy ESPNCricinfo Statsguru