India pacer Harshal Patel said he has been a silent observer of AB de Villiers and the former South African batter has had a massive impact on the fast bowler’s career.
De Villiers, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday. Harshal — ABD’s teammate in the franchise — spoke about the star batter and the impact he has had on his game during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
“AB de Villers has had a massive impact on my career. I always have been a silent observer of him. When we were about to start the UAE-leg (IPL), I had asked him about how do I reduce my big overs. He said if the batter hits you on good deliveries, make sure you don’t change the way of your bowling,” Harshal said after India defeated New Zealand in the second T20I.
“That’s something which stayed with me throughout the second leg of IPL and it will stay with me throughout my cricketing career,” he added.
De Villiers played 156 matches for RCB and scored 4,491 runs. He is the second all-time leading run-scorer behind Kohli.
Coming to the second T20I, India sealed the series with a 2-0 lead after registering a thumping seven-wicket win over New Zealand on Friday.
Harshal, who made his India debut, exuded confidence and said he knew he could perform at the highest level. “I knew I could play at the highest level. I could do well at the highest level with both bat and ball. So my process was always driven by my internal drive to constantly get better and actualize my potential. Never at any moment, I felt that the dream is running away from me,” said Harshal in the post-match press conference.
“I always felt that if you put in the work, have patience then things will eventually go in your favour. I am someone who looks at things with a long term perspective,” he added.
The India pacer did admit that it was difficult for him to bowl in the second T20I due to the dew factor which made sure he wasn’t able to execute his yorkers perfectly.
“Definitely when dew comes in you cannot always control the ball. Especially with my yorkers and slower yorkers the margin of error is less when the ball is dry. With the dew, it becomes difficult to grip the ball. It was difficult to bowl as I couldn’t use my two main weapons (yorkers and slower yorkers) in the second T20I,” he signed off. (ANI)