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India vs South Africa | I can’t bowl as fast as Umran Malik: Harshal Patel on staying one step ahead of batters

India’s medium-pacer Harshal Patel said on Thursday that he is not focused on pace but on making sure he always stays ahead of the opposition batter in terms of executing his plans. Harshal added that he is not going to bowl as quickly as Umran Malik but his focus is on making sure his variations outfox the batters.

Harshal has had a fine start to his international career, earning the reputation of one of the smartest bowlers going around. in 11 matches since his debut in 2021, Harshal has picked up 17 wickets in 11 matches.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer has been a pillar of strength for the former finalists, picking up 19 wickets in 2022. He won the Purple Cap with 33 wickets, a joint-record for the most wickets in a single season of the IPL, in 2021.

Harshal’s ability to bowl his slower ones without changing his action or run-up has been the undoing for several opposing batters.

Speaking to the press in the lead up to the 4th T20I against South Africa in Rajkot, Harshal shed light on his thinking as a medium-pace bowler.

“To be honest, people have been trying to anticipate what I am bowling for the last two years (in IPL). With every bowler the longer they play, the opposition will realise what the bowler’s strengths and patterns are,” Harshal said.

“As a bowler, my job is to stay one step ahead of them. At the end of the day, you can have 15 plans but on a particular day in a pressure situation, if you don’t go out and execute with confidence, everything doesn’t fall in place.

“My focus is on trying to execute the best possible delivery at that point of time,” he said ahead of the fourth T20 against South Africa.

“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. I have never been an express fast bowler though on a good day I can go near 140 kmph.

“My focus has always been to develop skills around my bowling and whatever limitations and advantages I have in my bowling,” he added.


Meanwhile, Harshal also said he prefers bowling on slower pitches and on bigger grounds so that his variations can be more effective.

Harshal has been in good form in the ongoing 5-match T20I series against South Africa. While he was miserly in the first two matches wherein he picked up a wicket each, the medium pacer picked 4 wickets in India’s win in Visakhapatnam.

“I would certainly prefer to pay on slow wickets. It gives you a fighting chance. If you can keep playing on pitches like Delhi it can hamper your confidence a little bit.

“We have bowlers who can bowl on all pitches but it brings them more into the game when there are slightly slower pitches and slightly bigger ground dimensions,” he said.

India will look to level the series when they face South Africa in the 4th T20I in Rajkot on Friday, June 17.

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