I have to be a step ahead of the batters, says Harshal Patel

Harshal Patel wants slower pitches, bigger grounds

RAJKOT: Seamer Harshal Patel, who played a big part in India’s win in Visakhapatnam and is fast emerging as a mainstay in T20Is, feels execution is key to remain “one step ahead” of the batters in this particular format. “As a bowler my job is to stay one step ahead of batsmen.

At the end of the day, you can have 15 plans, but on a particular day, in a pressure situation, if you don’t go out and execute with confidence, things won’t fall in place. My focus is on trying to execute the best possible delivery at that point in time,” said Patel after the Indian team’s practice session at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium here.

Touching upon the technical aspect of his bowling, he said, “My focus has always been on developing skills around my bowling. I would certainly prefer to play on slow wickets. It gives you a fighting chance. If you keep playing on pitches like the one in Delhi, it hampers your confidence.”

Patel revealed that India’s bowlers prefer a “slower” pitch, like the one in Vizag, compared to a wicket where the ball comes nicely on to the bat, as was the case in Delhi. “We have bowlers who can bowl on all pitches but it brings them more into the game when there are slightly slower pitches and slightly bigger ground dimensions,” he said.

After excellent displays in the shortest format of the game -he has taken 60 wickets for Haryana and 85 for RCB in the IPL in a total of 174 T20 wickets -Patel said he prefers variations in pace rather than all-out speed to get wickets. “I cannot worry about pace because I can’t bowl as fast as Umran Malik. I have to develop skills to render myself effective at the international level. I have never been an express fast bowler, though on a good day I can go near 140 kmph,” said Patel, who has taken 17 wickets in 11 T20Is for India.