DateLine: 19th February 2007
He has been playing for New Zealand for just over a year but Jeetan Patel has already made a name for himself as an off spinner who can really make the ball talk on a responsive surface while keeping things steady in adverse conditions. A bowler in the traditional mould of the best off spinners Patel has a nice action complete with loop and drift and ability to really give the ball a healthy tweak. After making his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2005 he turned in a splendid performance in his first outing on home soil taking two for 23 from ten overs to keep the run hungry Sri Lankan batsman on a leash and shaping a notable victory. This earned him the man of the match award. Consistent performances earned him a Test cap against South Africa at Capetown late in the 2005-06 season and on a featherbed of a surface he did not do his cause any harm in picking up three wickets – all frontline batsmen – for 117 runs from 42 probing overs. In the Champions Trophy match in India against South Africa he was one of the architects of his side’s surprise victory picking up three wickets cheaply on a responsive surface.