Fit-again Harshal Patel adds more strings to T20 bow

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He says the backing from the team management has helped “take a bit of pressure off” as he makes a return to India’s squad

 Harshal Patel has found it liberating to train without fear of competition.

Harshal is looking forward to life on the road again after recovering from a rib injury that kept him out of the Asia Cup in the UAE, which will soon include his first World Cup appearance. But first, he has cope with the T20I series against Australia, which begins on Tuesday in Mohali.

Harshal has been undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for the past four weeks. Before resuming bowling, he spent the first two weeks working on his physical training. One of his main goals has been to stay ahead of the curve and continue to be the X-factor bowler that organizations crave.

“I want to be tighter with my execution,” Harshal said in August to ESPNcricinfo. “And I did really well last IPL [19 wickets in 15 matches].” That is something I will continue to strive for. Whether I bowl one or two bad balls out of every 24, I’d like to see if I can entirely remove it.

Harshal Patel, known for his outstanding slower balls and a deadly dipping yorker, soared to the top of the IPL 2021 wicket-taker statistics and rode that wave all the way to an India cap last November.

He’s emerged as a significant member of India’s T20I arsenal after nearly a year. He believes that his time off due to injury has allowed him to explore many aspects of his trade aside from working on their execution, which is the “tougher piece.” His new-ball bowling and length variations are two of those areas.

“I’ve played about with the lengths I can bowl with the slower ball,” he explained. “When I bowl slower balls, they’re usually fuller or at a fair length.” But I’ve recently begun bowling shorter, slower balls, which are working out extremely nicely for me. That is, of course, one thing.

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Author: Sara Brooks