Harshal Patel was one of the chief architects of India’s victory in Visakhapatnam, in the third T20I versus South Africa, which helped the hosts keep the series alive. The Royal Challengers Bangalore seamer returned with stunning figures of 4/25 in 3.1 overs to help India claim the match by 48 runs while defending their total of 179.
Now, the action moves to Rajkot for the fourth match of the series before the final T20I will be played in Bangalore.
Harshal Patel says he can’t bowl fast like Umran Malik
On the eve of the fourth game, Harshal Patel was queried about his plans and his own bowling. Patel invoked speedster Umran Malik’s name, saying that though he doesn’t have the high pace Malik does, his focus is on developing his skilset and bowling arsenal that keeps him in good stead at the international level.
“I can’t worry about pace because I can’t bowl fast as Umran Malik. I have to develop skills to render myself effective at the international level. My focus has always been to develop skills around my bowling,” Patel was quoted as saying.
This remark didn’t go down well with some fans who trolled Patel. “Jealous” “fluke” “only slower balls bowlers,” they said.
Here are some of the angry reactions from Umran Malik’s fans after Patel’s statement:
You can't survive longer with only slower balls 🙆🏻♂️🙆🏻♂️🙆🏻♂️
— Prawin (@PraveenT_INDIAN) June 17, 2022
— Aradhana (@UNOwen52049192) June 16, 2022
You don't have skills only slow balls fluke patel
— #14👾 (@CSkian000) June 16, 2022
You are as predictable as kohli is playing shots outside Off
— Jayesh (@Jayesh_45) June 16, 2022
What skills does he have other than Slower Ball?
The Vizag pitch gripped for his slower balls so he became effective, else he traveled most of the times .. https://t.co/qTlKUErKAd
— Sumeet Mishra (@sumeetmish) June 16, 2022
In the three matches so far, Harshal has taken 6 wickets and is the joint-leading wicket-taker with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Patel is coming off another brilliant IPL season where he snapped up 19 wickets at an economy of 7.66 helping RCB through to the playoffs.
Patel further asserted that he needs to stay one step ahead of the batsmen as the scrutiny on his bowling increases with each game.
“People have been trying to anticipate for the past two years. To be very honest, with every bowler, the longer they play, the more the opposition will realise what their strengths are, what the patterns are, and try to adapt to it. But as a bowler, my job is to stay one step ahead of batters,” the seamer stated.