“Slower balls ineffective to Virat Kohli,” reveals Harshal Patel

Harshal Patel

Indian pacer, Harshal Patel has opened up on his bowling skills and plans for the upcoming ICC Mens T20 World Cup. Harshal sat down for a chat with ESPNCricinfo where he revealed how his slower deliveries were ineffective against Indian stalwart Virat Kohli.

Harshal Patel rose to fame during the IPL 2021. He was traded in the transfer window. RCB sought his transfer from Delhi Capitals. He was specifically instructed by the management to perform the role of death bowler for the team. Harshal lived up to the promise and ended up as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. He was awarded the purple cap at the end of IPL 2021. He deceived almost every big name in the tournament with his slower deliveries.

Owing to his splendid performance, he was a hit at the IPL 2022 auction. He was bought back by the franchise at a cost of more than 10 crores. Harshal Patel was fast-tracked into the national team, eyeing his IPL success. However, the journey with the blue jersey has been a roller coaster ride for him. Harshal Patel has managed to get a fixed place in the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Ahead of the campaign, he has spoken about his preparations and plans for the big tournament.

“I have two variations,” Harshal Patel

Harshal Patel has opened up on his variations. He also revealed how the pitch affects his plans and how he adapts to the conditions.

“I have two. Both are off-cutters. The difference is whether I want to use the pitch and whether the pitch allows me natural variation, or not. If I don’t want to use the pitch, then I try and bowl it from the front of the hand because it allows me that topspin. So it works on better pitches with better bounce, where even if you fail to deceive the batter in the air, sometimes what happens is, it sort of just kicks enough on you and that doesn’t allow you to get timing and trajectory in the shot – it goes higher rather than flatter,”

“Virat Kohli is not someone who’s going to muscle you,”

Harshal Patel further revealed that his slower deliveries are effective against a batter whose intent is to hammer you upfront. For someone like Virat Kohli, he has to change his natural plans.

“To Virat, for sure, because he is not someone who’s going to muscle you. These slower deliveries are more effective when people are trying to muscle you. For someone like Virat, whenever I’ve played against him, he steps out and makes it a full toss and plays it through midwicket”

“If he gets good bat on the ball, he is going to get a boundary between long-on and midwicket or he is going to get a double. And when someone plays that delivery like that, you have to adapt. But when someone is going deep in the crease and just trying to slog you over long-on or deep midwicket or down the ground, that’s where the slower ball becomes much more effective”

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