He puts his unwavering faith and trust in god but Black Caps spinner Ajaz Patel isn't shy to break from convention when it comes to cricket.

Only two summers ago Patel had dispelled such old adages such as "bringing in a spinner when the ball is scuffed" or myths surrounding the selection of spinners as white-ball or red-ball specialists depending on what purchase a wicket could offer.

Consequently the debutant's resolve in the stunning four-run, first-test victory over Pakistan at the United Arab Emirates on Monday night didn't come as a surprise to Central Districts Stags coach Heinrich Malan.

Malan said the 30-year-old left-arm orthodox tweaker had been around the blocks for a few seasons now in the domestic scene and was adept at stepping up with the ball on days three and four to put oppositions under pressure.


"It's exactly what Jazzy has done in his first test so it's great to see the hard work he has put in gets rewarded on the biggest patch," said Malan, who is coaching the New Zealand A team in Tauranga while Ben Smith, of England, is at the helm of the Stags in the interim.

The South African mentor, who missed out on the national job to incumbent Gary Stead, of Christchurch, after Mike Hesson stepped down this year, heaped some of the plaudits on the way Stead and captain Kane Williamson went about preparing for the first test, after Australia had left befuddled.

"Credit has to be given to the staff in the way they have done their preparation but the players have performed their part too in making sure they did what they had to in their roles in keeping them in the game."

The coaching stable had looked outside the square, Malan felt, in embracing a twin-spin attack against traditional foes renowned for their dexterity to play spin in the subcontinent.

Black Caps spinner Ajaz Patel is a billboard for domestic cricket as a platform for higher honours. Photo/Photosport
Black Caps spinner Ajaz Patel is a billboard for domestic cricket as a platform for higher honours. Photo/Photosport

He said while the Stags had missed out on the one-day Ford Trophy campaign the CD team mantra was to produce talent to grace the higher echelons of cricket.

"We had stats the other day when we were playing against ND that we had only one guy, Doug Bracewell, who had played in the final against ND which was only in February," he said of the Stags' defeat in the Ford Trophy final last summer.

While the average age of CD Stags was 21, Malan said it was no different to when he arrived here five years ago to inject young talent to mature into potential champions.

CD have several players on test and NZ A duties.


"It's never going to be easy but it'll put us in good stead moving forward in exciting times."

With Mitchell Santner returning from knee surgery and uncertainty over what sort of decks curators will yield in New Zealand, Malan said Patel would no doubt be out to retain his form in the remaining two tests in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.