Team Indian Pacer and Royal Challengers Bangalore Pacer Harshal Patel revealed that one piece of advice that he took from Zaheer Khan changed his bowling to a big extent and made a huge difference to his bowling in a big way.
When Harshal Patel was with the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, it was where he got the opportunity to have one to one chat with him. The interaction took place when Delhi Capital was taking on the Mumbai Indians (MI).
Giving details of the interaction, Harshal told The Indian Express:
“When I was with DC and we were playing MI, I got a chance to speak with Zaheer Bhai. I have this massive problem of my deliveries drifting down the leg stump, and I spoke to him about it. He spotted an issue with my release angle. With my angle, if I pitch the ball on the off-stump, it will automatically drift to the leg stump.”
On the tweak that Zaheer suggested, the 31-year-old informed:
“The release angle should target the sixth or seventh stump line and then the ball will hit the off stump, he advised me. A small tip made a massive difference in my consistency and changed me as a bowler.”
It has been a long since he has been part of the IPL, he did not have much to show but his real breakthrough came when he took the 32 wickets in 15 matches for RCB. As a result of his performance, He was able to clinch India’s debut during the recent T20 series against New Zealand.
Harshal has been trying many techniques that did not get him much attention, however, the real attention he got with his slower balls where he got some of the biggest batters.
Upon being asked, how he managed to achieve this level of variation that took off many big batters. Harshal said:
“My arm-speed should be faster than my normal deliveries and then the second thing is to put as much revolution on the ball as possible. My slower ball is my efforts ball.”
The RCB pacer proudly added:
“Someone like Virat Kohli, Ab de Villiers, and Glen Maxwell, have told me that they don’t see my slower ones coming out of my hand. That gives me enough confidence that if these people are not able to read it then most of the other batters won’t be able to read it.”
Given his great bowling, Royal challenger Bangalore was given the Title of Team’s deadliest bowler. When he was quite surprised with that title that he has been given. He did not buckle under pressure, rather he took this challenge as an opportunity. The right-arm medium pacer said:
“RCB management trading me back and giving me this role changed my life completely. There are two or three career-defining instances for me. The first was when I moved to Haryana, the second was the 2018 IPL auction, and then RCB entrusted me with bowling in the death overs. To be honest, when the RCB management decided to give me the role of bowling in the death overs. I was a bit surprised but they had more faith in my ability than I had at that time.”
Despite Harshal Patel being the most lethal bowler of RCB, He was released by Royal Challengers Franchise, The franchise decided to retain only Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Mohammed Siraj.