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Never felt India jersey was running away from me: Harshal

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Harshal says he worked hard to convert his weaknesses into strengths and it paid huge dividends.

Indian fashion designer Harshal Patel, who impressed on his international debut, believes the secret to his success lay in realizing his limits and realizing his true potential.

Harshal made his international debut late, just four days away from his 31st birthday.

But the Royal Challengers Bangalore race leader picked up where he left off in his record-breaking 2021 IPL season and came back with an impressive 2 for 25 in the second T20I against New Zealand, which India won. by seven wickets to win an unassailable 2-0. lead in the three-game series.

“I knew I could play at the highest level. I could do well at the highest level with the ball and with the bat too,” Harshal said in the post-match virtual press conference here.

“I was constantly driven to improve myself and realize that potential. I never felt at any point that the dream was eluding me in any way.” After winning 23 wickets with an impressive 11 average in the 2008-09 U-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy, Harshal made his senior debut for Gujarat in the same season in the A-list of cricket.

He also played for India at the 2010 Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand and landed an IPL contract with the Mumbai Indians.

But it took him a while to play the Ranji Trophy because he couldn’t find a place in his home state, Gujarat. He then moved on to Haryana where his journey began in the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy season, where he pocketed 28 wickets to be picked up by RCB.

Against New Zealand in the second T20I here on Friday, Harshal took the wickets from Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips firmly established in the crucial intermediaries when the Kiwis looked to capitalize on the explosive start.

He was seen using the crease well, creating angles and was also smart with his slower ball which gave him a dream 2021 IPL season, where he finished as the top wicket-taker with 32 scalps. which included a fifer and a hat trick against the Bombay Indians.

Harshal revealed that he realized his limitations after playing domestic cricket and worked on his true potential.

“As a fast bowler you want to play fast. But I realized my speed cap is probably 135 km / h and if I’m really in a really good pace I can probably clock close to 140. “

“But I’ll never be able to consistently stay above 140. So that’s something I realized, and then I started working on other things, other skills that I needed to do well. do at this level, “he said.

Harshal also realized he had massive lateral flexion, so he worked on his angles to become a skilled bowler, something he learned the hard way in domestic cricket.

“I don’t have a biomechanically perfect action. I have massive lateral flexion at the point of delivery, so I’ve always wanted to correct that because we’re told you know you’re more prone to injury if you don’t. don’t fix it, ”he said.

“Plus, the height of your delivery is also reduced if you have lateral flexion and you won’t have a lot of supports and all that stuff.”

“But what I realized after playing domestic cricket for seven-eight years was that the lateral bend gave me an angle that hitters struggled to line up with.”

“It made my slow balls more efficient. If I’m talking about red ball cricket, that wide angle in the batter allows me to get past the slopers of a very tight line and beat the hitters when he’s recovering. started to see it as a benefit, “he added.

Harshal said he worked hard to convert his weaknesses into strengths and it paid huge dividends.

“Angles have always been a big part of my game and I use them wisely. I think it’s another thing I’ve realized I can add to my repertoire without trying too many different things.”

“So I run the yorkers from close to the stumps, some from the corner of the crease, and that has a huge impact on where the ball lands and where the batter plays the ball. It is a huge advantage and a huge weapon for me. »He concluded.

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