Despite New Zealand getting bowled out for their lowest ever test match score and suffering a massive 372-run defeat in the Wankhede test match, a few people were of the opinion that the Kiwi left arm spinner Ajaz Patel should have been the man of the match for his 10-wicket haul in the first innings.
A 10-wicket haul in both the innings combined is not something which is extremely uncommon in test cricket. A lot of bowlers have got it under their belt, but only three bowlers in the history of the game so far have a 10-wicket haul in a single innings. For someone to do something that extraordinary and to not get the man of the match award was a little unfair, in the opinion of a few.
Performance of Ajaz Patel didn’t impact the game significantly
The reason why the adjudicators decided against declaring Ajaz Patel the man of the match was because his performance with the ball, even though it was once in a generation performance, had no effect over the result of the match. Ajaz got 4 wickets on the first day of the match and India were still in a comfortable position with more than 200 runs at stumps on day 1.
And, then when India were eventually bowled out on the second day at 300 odd with Ajaz getting all 10 wickets, it was still a comfortably overpar score on a pitch where the ball was spining a fair bit right from the first hour of the game.
Ajaz added a few more to his tally as he came back and got another 4-fer in the second innings, stretching his tally to 14 wickets in the game, but New Zealand had already conceded a lead of more than 250 runs in the first inning and with India pushing the total lead beyond 500, Ajaz’s 4-fer in the second innings was also pretty much inconsequential in the context of the game.
On the other hand, Mayank Agarwal, who was declared the man of the match, made a match defining impact with his 150 in the first innings on a square turner. Taking simply the impact of the performances into account, the adjudicators decided not to give Ajaz Patel the man of the match award, even though he created history on an individual front.