Ahmedabad: New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel on Friday described iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar's scalp as the biggest of his fledgling career.
"I'm delighted to take Sachin's wicket. It's the biggest scalp of my career," said the 30-year-old Wellington-born Patel after grabbing three for 135 in the Indian first innings total of 487.
After going wicket-less and giving away 79 runs in 13 overs on Thursday, the off-spinner made amends by giving splendid support to his skipper Daniel Vettori in restricting the Indian innings that looked all set to cross 500 with a close-of-play total of 329 for three on Thursday.
Patel, born of Indian parents, said the key to his success on Friday was self-belief and an alternation to his run-up and mental make-up.
"I tried to bowl too hard yesterday. When I came out to bowl today, I told myself I belonged to this level. I shortened my run-up after bowling too fast yesterday. My idea was to bowl dot balls and apply pressure," said the bowler who had taken 37 wickets in 11 Tests previous to the current game.
Patel said the game was at a very interesting stage and New Zealand would have to bat for five sessions to take the upper hand.
"Match is exciting. We got a great opportunity and will have to bat for five sessions. The wicket will increasingly assist the slower bowlers," he said.