The son of Indian parents, but born and brought up in Wellington's eastern suburbs, offspinner Jeetan Patel was fast-tracked into the New Zealand side after John Bracewell, the coach, identified him as the sort of slow bowler who could be effective at the death. Patel first played for Wellington in 1999-2000, bowling 59 overs and taking 5 for 145 against Auckland on his debut. Three middling seasons followed, and he seemed to be heading nowhere, with an average in the mid-forties. But then he took 6 for 32 against Otago in the last State Championship match of 2004-05, propelling Wellington into the final against Auckland, which they lost. Suddenly good judges were noting his ability to make the ball loop and drift, not unlike a right-handed Daniel Vettori. Bracewell took him to Zimbabwe for a one-day tournament in August 2005, and he played nine ODIs during the season, in eight being either the super-sub or the subbed-out player, as his batting - although better than when he began - is underwhelming. At home his 2 for 23 from ten overs throttled Sri Lanka at Wellington, and won him the match award, then three wickets at Christchurch helped subdue West Indies too. All this put Patel in line for a first Test cap, which came against South Africa at Cape Town in April 2006. And he had a nice long bowl, wheeling down 42 overs and removing Graeme Smith, Boeta Dippenaar and AB de Villiers at a cost of 117 runs. His bowling in tandem with Vettori produced some of New Zealand's best spells of the 2007 CB Series as the pair often dried up the runs. Patel's efforts in Australia, combined with his athletic and enthusiastic fielding, earned him a place at the World Cup in the West Indies where he played six matches.