‘My job is to stay one step ahead of the batters’
Harshal Patel, who starred with a four-wicket haul in the third T20I match against South Africa, said he needs to constantly develop his skills to stay relevant.
The pacer is known for his clever variations with cutters and slower ones and outsmarted the dangerous David Miller with one such delivery at Visakhapatnam.
Speaking in Rajkot ahead of the fourth match, Harshal said, “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.”
“As a bowler, my job is to stay one step ahead of them. I cannot bowl fast like Umran Malik, it’s plain and simple. So I have to develop skills to render myself effective. My focus is always to develop skills around my bowling, with whatever limitations and advantages I have,” he added.
The slow nature of the pitch in the last game helped the Indian bowling unit and the pacer said he preferred that kind of wicket.
“In the last match, the wicket was slower than usual which allowed us to bowl hard lengths. It was difficult to clear boundaries on both sides,” Harshal said.
“It gives you a fighting chance. If you consistently play on pitches such as Delhi, it can hamper your confidence a little bit. We also have world-class spinners who can bowl in any conditions but on a slightly slower pitch and bigger ground, it brings them into the game more,” he added.
South African pacer Anrich Nortje said his team was aware of how important the fourth T20I was.
“I said at the last game as well that this was sort of like a final for us. We didn’t perform well or anything close to what we are capable of. [This is] a second chance but we need to seal the series as soon as possible and not give them an opportunity or any sniff,” he said.