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India vs New Zealand | Never Looked Like Harshal Patel Was Playing His First Game: Gautam Gambhir

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Former India opener Gautam Gambhir heaped huge praise on Harshal Patel after his impressive international debut in the 2nd T20I against New Zealand on Friday. Harshal, who clinched the Purple Cap in IPL 2021 playing for RCB, was named player of the match on his debut for his exemplary bowling figure of 2/25. The 30-year-old waited for a long time to get a senior-team call-up and he took full advantage of it when he got a chance in playing XI in place of Mohammed Siraj who sustained the injury during the opening T20I.

The right-arm pacer was brilliant with his change of pace in the death overs which deceived the batters on a dew-effected surface. He claimed two big wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Philipps at crucial stages of the game.

Also Read | India vs New Zealand 2021: ‘I Kept Telling the Boys That It’s All About One Wicket’-Rohit Sharma

Gambhir hailed Harshal’s efforts in the Ranchi T20I as he credited IPL and first-class cricket for his success on debut.

“Harshal Patel was unbelievable. It never looked like he was playing his first game. Very impressed with his effort. That is what 8-10 years of first-class cricket and a fabulous IPL season can do to you.

“You play your first game for India, you know your game much better. You are no more a rookie and if you have done that in IPL, which is high-quality cricket, when you have had that kind of success, you come here and feel you can continue doing the same thing.

“That is what Harshal has done tonight. Really happy for him because he has delivered on the big stage today,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

Harshal rejuvenated his career during IPL 2021 where he claimed the Purple Cap by picking record-equaling 32 wickets in 15 matches.

Also Read | Harshal Patel Gets Player of The Match Award on Debut; Says He’s Not ‘Exceptionally Talented’

After that match, Harshal said it’s an honour to play for the country and he is not going to take it for granted.

“It’s a great feeling playing for the country. I love the game and the ultimate goal for any player is to play for the country, it’s an honour, it’s a privilege and I’m not going to take it for granted.

“Rahul (Dravid) sir has always told me that once you are done with the preparations, you gotta go out there and enjoy the game. I’ve reached here on the back of a good IPL, so it’s a satisfying moment for me,” Patel said on Star Sports.

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