Veteran batter Robin Uthappa was all praise for Harshal Patel after the latter made his debut in the second T20I between India and New Zealand at the JSCA Cricket Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday. Uthappa feels Harshal possesses incredible skills and knows how to execute them in pressure situations. The pacer put on an impressive show on his debut, registering figures of 2/25 in his four overs, and was adjudged the ‘Man of the Match’. Analysing his performance during a discussion on ESPNcricinfo, Uthappa said that Harshal is “definitely up there” with Jasprit Bumrah for a death-overs spot in the Indian team.
“If you consider a death-over spot, he (Harshal) would definitely be up there for me along with Bumrah. And the kind of skills he possesses and the way he executes those skills under pressure, is incredible, especially in his second-last over where he conceded a six against Glenn Phillips, then bowled a no-ball in the second and the way he came back from there (to dismiss Phllips on the next ball),” said Uthappa.
Former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori echoed Uthappa’s sentiments, insisting that India could be a “formidable T20I side” if Harshal and Bumrah can pair up in the death overs.
“If Harshal Patel has the skill set of bowling in death overs, which we obviously know that Bumrah does, it sets a whole new dynamic to how you setup your T20 team. Your first six overs can be more and more attacking with the likes of Avesh Khan coming as he can be a specialist bowler at the top,” said Vettori.
“There are not many bowlers who can do it (bowl at the death), but if India two, it sets them up as a formidable team (in T20Is),” he added.
Meanwhile, India defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets on Friday, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. The final T20I will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
After the T20I series is done and dusted, both teams will play two Tests, starting November 25.
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