Right arm pacer Harshal Patel received the Man of the Match award in his international debut against New Zealand on Friday.
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After receiving the purple cap in the 2021 edition, Harshal Patel earned his spot for team India in the shortest format of the game. Harshal picked up 32 wickets in 15 matches for his side RCB in the IPL.
Harshal Patel replaced Mohammad Siraj who is ruled out for the remainder of the series due to a finger injury. During the 2nd T20I match between India and New Zealand at Ranchi, Harshal received his cap from former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar. Harshal put up a stellar performance by picking 2 wickets and conceding only 25 runs in his 4 over spell. Harshal dismissed Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell and sealed the MOTM award.
During the post-match press conference, Harshal revealed how the former Proteas skipper AB De Villiers advice helped him to improve as a bowler. Harshal who claims himself to be “a silent observer” of the ex-Proteas cricketer, recalled ABD’s suggestions on not varying with the length if he considered it to be a good delivery. The 30-year-old also stated that he also instructed him to force the batter to play those deliveries.
“I think AB has had a massive impact on my career. I’ve always been a silent observer of him. Before we started UAE leg (in IPL 2021), I asked him how to reduce the big overs where I went for 15-20 runs in IPL. He told me, ‘When batsmen hit you on the good deliveries, you shouldn’t change that. Force the batsman constantly to hit the good deliveries. When you are hit on a good delivery and you change in the next delivery, the batsman would have been expecting it. I changed that. And it stayed with me in the 2nd leg of the IPL,” Harshal Patel said.
Earlier on Friday, AB De Villiers decided to retire from all forms of cricket which brought an end to his long association with IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.