On Thursday, Indian pacer Harshal Patel said he wasn’t worried that batters had started anticipating his variations and he just wanted to focus on executing his plans to stay ahead of the game. them.
In the first T20I in Delhi, Rassie van der Dussen crushed Harshal for three sixes and a four in an over to turn the tables. After the match, the Proteas said that after the first two sixes, he knew Harshal would turn to his slower balls.
“People have been trying to look ahead for two years. To be very honest with every bowler, the longer they bowl the more the opposition will realize their strengths, their patterns and try to adapt to them. But as as a bowler, my job is to stay one step ahead of the batters,” Harshal said on the eve of the fourth T20I against South Africa.
“At the end of the day, you can have 15 different plans, but on a particular day, in a pressure situation, if you don’t come out and execute with confidence, everything doesn’t really fall into place. So my goal was always about how to read the game better at that particular moment and how to execute the best possible delivery at that moment,” he added.
Sharing the formula behind his meteoric rise in the T20s, particularly over the past two years, the 31-year-old said he doesn’t care much about his individual speed and relies on variations, which gave results to the stimulator.
“I can’t worry about the pace because I can’t play as fast as Umran Malik. I have to develop skills to be effective at international level. I’ve never been an express fast bowler, but in a good day, I can go there almost 140 km/h,” he said.
“My goal has always been to develop skills around my bowling game and whatever limitations and advantages I have in my bowling game,” he added.
Harshal is currently the leading wicket taker in the series, with six wickets in three games. In the third T20I at Visakhapatnam, the pitch was slower, which suited Harshal’s bowling style, and he duly picked up 4 for 25 in 3.1 overs.
“While there wasn’t a lot of variable bouncing or lateral movement from the field, it was really slow. So it allowed us to throw harder, slower balls down the field. It was difficult to cross the limit of these lengths,” said Pacer.
“I would definitely prefer to play on slower pitches because it gives you a bit of a fighting chance. If you keep playing constantly on pitches like Delhi, it can hurt your confidence a bit. We also have class spinners world in the team, who can play well on any pitch, but it brings them a bit more into the game when we have slightly slower pitches and slightly larger pitch sizes,” he said. added.
Head coach Rahul Dravid and alternate captain Rishabh Pant spoke about how the team prepared for the T20 World Cup, to be held in Australia in October-November. Harshal said that although the World Cup is at the back of their minds, they are also focused on winning this series.
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“To be honest, you can’t play cricket thinking too much about the future or the past. As everyone has also said before, the World Cup is in the back of our minds and we are trying to work towards that goal. But at the same time, we’re 2-1 down in the series, so the focus is on how to win the next two games. After that, we’re going to Ireland, so things will go in this direction, but at this point our focus is how to win this series,” he said.
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