Harshal Patel produced a stellar performance with the ball on his international debut to guide India to a 7-wicket win over New Zealand. The hosts also take the unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. On his debut, Harshal proved that how he can be a vital cog in India’s bowling unit for the next T20 World Cup in Australia.
The 30-year-old received the Player of the Match Award for his exemplary bowling figure of 2/25 on the surface where there was not much assistance for the bowlers.
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After the match, Harshal revealed the advice he received from legendary AB de Villiers who announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday. Harshal, who won the Purple cap last season in IPL, played alongside De Villiers in the RCB camp and got the opportunity to pick his brains.
“AB has had a massive impact on my career. I have always been a silent observer of him. Recently when we were starting our campaign in the UAE I asked him, ‘How do I reduce my big overs? I have bowled 12-15 even 20-run overs in the IPL so how should I reduce those?’ So he told me, ‘When a batsman hits your good delivery, you shouldn’t change that. You should constantly force the batsman to hit your good deliveries only. If you get hit once on a good delivery then if you change it, the batsman is already expecting that.’ That is something that stayed with me throughout the second leg of IPL and will stay with me throughout my career,” said Patel after winning the Player of the Match award.
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The former Proteas skipper posted a heartfelt note on Instagram regarding his retirement.
De Villiers said that he played the game with pure enjoyment and enthusiasm but now the flame no longer burns so brightly.
IPL 2021 was the last tournament where De Villiers played before his retirement. His team Royal Challengers Bangalore were eliminated from the playoffs stage as he failed to win his maiden IPL trophy.
In 340 T20s, he scored 9424 runs at a sublime average of 37.24. Meanwhile, in his 14-year-long IPL career, ABD smashed 5162 runs in 184 matches, which also includes three centuries and 40 half-centuries.
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