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IND v NZ: I could not have asked for a better debut, says Harshal Patel

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Ranchi, Nov 20 (IANS) India pacer Harshal Patel, who bagged the Player of the Match award for his superb bowling in the second T20I against New Zealand, has insisted that he couldn’t have asked for a better debut in international cricket. He also said that his plan was to stick to the processes he had followed during the Indian Premier League.

After bagging the purple cap by picking 32 wickets for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021, Patel made his India debut in the second T20I against New Zealand in Ranchi, which the hosts won by seven wickets. For his figures of 2/25, Patel bagged the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

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“It took me a lot of time to make my debut, but I do not have any regrets. I am very happy. My learnings during that time are helping me now. I could not have asked for a better debut,” said Patel to Yuzvendra Chahal in a video released by BCCI on Saturday.

Patel also expressed surprise over vice-captain KL Rahul not getting the Player of the Match award for his knock of 65 off 49 b”lls. “In my mind, after the match ends, when you see the scoreboard, my name should be on top of the three bowlers. I did that but I did not expect to win the Man of the Match award. Honestly, I felt KL (Rahul) should have been given this award. But I am not complaining because the way he played on a difficult pitch, it was an exceptional “nock.”

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Talking about how he went about the proceedings on his debut, Patel explained that he adapted to the conditions on the field and followed his usual p”ocess. “I stuck to a similar process which I kept during the IPL. I knew that although I was playing for India but my skillset would not change. Whatever we see of the opposition batsmen while planning in the meeting and along with the conditions, you need t” adapt.”

“For example, I realised that it would not be possible to execute yorker with the wet ball. Then I decided to go with the slower ball option on a double-paced wicket and use the square boundaries to make it difficult for batsmen to play.”

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The 30-year-old elaborated on things he learned by watching former South Africa captain AB de Villiers, who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, including the IPL. Patel shared the dressing room with de Villiers from 2012-2017 and in the 2021 edition of the IPL at RCB. “If there’s one thing that I have learned from him is that if the team needs to be brought out of a difficult situation, he has to raise the hand, every single time, he comes out and does it. I have seen him in so many pressure situations where the game could have gone either way. He would just come out and win the game for the team. That is the one thing I have “ried to do.”

“I am nowhere near to him in terms of skills and capacity. It is the attitude which I have always tried to inculcate in my own game. Off the field, the kind of person he is doesn’t matter if you have never played IPL or are in your tenth year, he makes you feel like you are a part of the family or are a very good friend. That’s something that I really, really appreciate. I am going to cherish every single moment I had with him and will miss him on the field.”

–IANS

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