Veteran India wicket-keeper batsman Robin Uthappa has applauded the performance of Harshal Patel on his debut for Team India against New Zealand in Ranchi. The pace bowler has picked up 2 wickets and registered the figures of 2-25 and was one of the successful bowlers in his very first outing as well.
However, Uthappa believes Harshal Patel can back Jasprit Bumrah when it comes to bowling in the death overs. The seamer did that for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team where he had played as a death-over specialist as well. He picked up 32 wickets in the campaign and finished as the leading wicket-taker.
While speaking on ESPN Cricinfo, Uthappa said: “If you would consider just a death bowling spot, then Harshal Patel is right up there for me along with Bumrah. The kind of skills he possesses and the way he is executing those skills, not just possession of skills but the way you execute those skills also matter, especially under pressure. Incredible how he came back in his last over, that just shows he’s got the stuff.”
He would want to work on the waist height no balls – Robin Uthappa
With Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have been rested, an injury to Mohammad Siraj in the first T20I gave Harshal Patel the opportunity as well. Although he impressed on his international debut, Robin Uthappa stressed that he still needs to work and improve.
“The waist-high no balls have been something we have noticed with him over the last 12 months or so and it is something he would want to work on and improve. Because in high-pressure games you don’t want to give away a ball like that.” Robin Uthappa concluded.
While India has won the second T20I, they have sealed the series with one match in hand as well. It will be interesting to see if India manage to win the final T20I over New Zealand or the Kiwis end the series on a winning note.