As he doesn’t possess the pace of Umran Mailk, India medium pacer Harshal Patel feels he has to keep upping his ‘variations’ game to extend his nascent international career.
Harshal had made his India debut after the T20 World Cup last November and more than six months into international cricket, the 31-year-old has 17 wickets in 11 games at an average of 19.52.
Slower pitches suit his style of bowling more and that was evident in the last two games after the hammering he got on a true Kotla surface in the series opener.
Being a shrewd operator, Harshal very well knows how to remain effective under extreme pressure despite his limitations.
“To be honest, people have been trying to anticipate what I am bowling for the last two years (in IPL). With every bowler the longer they play, the opposition will realise what the bowler’s strengths and patterns are.
“As a bowler, my job is to stay one step ahead of them. 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, everything doesn’t fall in place.
“My focus is on trying to execute the best possible delivery at that point of time,” he said ahead of the fourth T20 against South Africa.
The RCB bowling mainstay relies a lot on his variations to outsmart the batters and he says that is something he needs to constantly develop.
“I can’t worry about pace because I can’t bowl 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.
“My focus has always been to develop skills around my bowling and whatever limitations and advantages I have in my bowling.
“I would certainly prefer to pay on slow wickets. It gives you a fighting chance. If you can keep playing on pitches like Delhi it can hamper your confidence a little bit.
“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.