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IND vs NZ | I was not an exceptionally talented player, had to build my game from scratch, says Harshal Patel

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Harshal Patel scalped two wickets on his Team India debut against New Zealand in Ranchi

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IND vs NZ | I was not an exceptionally talented player, had to build my game from scratch, says Harshal Patel

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SportsCafe Desk

11/20/2021

Harshal Patel has said that he was not an exceptionally talented player and had to build his game from the scratch. Harshal made his India debut on Friday in Ranchi against New Zealand in the second T20I, and clinched two crucial wickets in the match by conceding just 25 runs in his four overs.

India claimed a 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, after a thumping seven-wicket victory in the second match on Friday in Ranchi. A disciplined bowling performance from the Indian bowlers troubled the New Zealand batsman from scoring runs in the middle overs and the Black Caps could only manage 153/6 at the end of the innings. India debutant, Harshal Patel unleashed his death-bowling skills, and scalped two crucial wickets in the match by conceding just 25 runs in his full quota of overs.

Harshal was included in the India T20I squad after his brilliant bowling performances in the IPL 2021, in which scalped 32 wickets from 15 matches.  The 30-year-old made his domestic cricket debut for Gujarat in 2009 after his impressive performances in the 2008-09 U-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy, where he clinched 23 wickets. The pacer also played for India U-19 in the 2010 World Cup in New Zealand, and later was brought by Mumbai Indians in the IPL auction. Harshal has also played his trade for Delhi Capitals in the lucrative league.

After India’s win against New Zealand, the 30-year-old revealed that he was not exceptionally talented, and had to work hard to achieve the India call-up.

"Somebody like me, who was not exceptionally talented, I had to build my game from ground up," Harshal said after winning the match award on debut.

Speaking on his bowling performance in the second T20I against New Zealand, Harshal stated that his strategies against the Black Caps batsmen worked very well in the death overs.

"The margin of error as it is, is lesser on those deliveries, and when the ball is wet you can't grip the ball so it becomes even tougher. I tried to bowl one slower yorker which went for a six because it turned into a full-toss. Then I tried a pacy yorker which turned out to be a beamer. After that I realised that this is probably not going to work in these conditions. Obviously it was difficult. Two of my main weapons in the death overs were gone for today. But at the same time, I knew how to adapt to the situation. It was a bit of a double-paced wicket with variable bounce. I wanted batters to hit to the square boundaries, and that strategy worked," Harshal said.

The right-arm pacer added that he trained very well with his limited options available, and that has benefited him in the past years.

"For me it was the ability to differentiate between my skillset and the things that I could not do, things that my skillset or talent wouldn't allow me to do… You need to keep working on that and make it so good that even with limited skill or limited options, you can make it work and consistently execute that," added the right-arm pacer. 

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