IPL 2021: Slower balls have been my biggest strength for 10 years, says Harshal

After registering a two-wicket win against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 tournament opener, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Harshal Patel said that the Chennai wicket suits his style of bowling. He also talked about how bowling slower balls is his strong suit.
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IPL 2021: Slower balls have been my biggest strength for 10 years, says Harshal

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], After registering a two-wicket win against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 tournament opener, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer Harshal Patel said that the Chennai wicket suits his style of bowling. He also talked about how bowling slower balls is his strong suit.

Harshal Patel delivered a stunning bowling performance before AB de Villiers' masterclass as RCB defeated Mumbai Indians by two wickets. Harshal had picked five wickets (three in the final over) to restrict Mumbai Indians to 159 runs in the allotted 20 overs and as a result, he became the first bowler a take a fifer against Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

In response, RCB got over the line on the last ball, courtesy of some fine hitting by De Villiers in the death overs. For RCB, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers played knocks of 39 and 48 respectively. Skipper Virat Kohli also played a 33-run knock of 29 balls.

"This Chepauk pitch definitely suited my kind of bowling and that was probably one of the reasons why Virat left my three overs for the death. As the ball got older, it started reversing a bit and when the ball starts reversing, it is definitely easier to execute your yorkers and I know my slower balls have been my biggest strength for 10 years now and yorker is something I have been working on, I am happy that I was able to execute that," said Harshal while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.

When asked about his role of bowling at the death overs, Harshal said: "So when I was traded from DC to RCB, I was told about the role I will play in this team and also when we gathered for our first camp, there was a clear instruction to me that I was going to bowl at least two overs at the death. That gave me a lot of clarity and confidence to work on my skill and develop certain plans against the batters I am going to face at the death. That clarity was given to me pretty early and that made my preparation a lot more concise."

"Whatever the team wants me to do, I have to do that. If you need to bowl at the death overs, you need to rely on yorkers, you cannot just keep on bowling length and slower balls, people are going to line up to that. Obviously, you always want to start well and that makes a massive impact on how you go in the coming days. It is my tenth season in the IPL, it can change quickly for good or bad so all you have to do is focus on your planning and take it one game at a time," he added.

Speaking about his yorkers, Harshal said: "I have been bowling that for two years now, it is just that when you do not get wickets of those deliveries, people do not tend to see that. But when you get wickets, people do notice that. My yorker is something I have been bowling for a long time but I was not confident of taking it into a game but now like in the last 15-20 days, I have made sure that I put myself in situations where I bowl yorkers."

Earlier, Harshal Patel delivered a stunning bowling performance as RCB restricted Mumbai Indians to 159 runs in the allotted twenty overs after opting to bowl first.

Harshal scalped five wickets in the innings and gave away just 27 runs from his four overs. For Mumbai Indians, Chris Lynn top-scored after playing a knock of 49 runs. (ANI)