Harshal Patel will be India's trump card in T20 World Cup 2022: Sunil Gavaskar

'Brilliant for a skipper to have someone like Harshal Patel to depend on,' said Gavaskar.

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Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Indian cricketing great Sunil Gavaskar reckons that fast bowler Harshal Patel could be one of India skipper Rohit Sharma’s trump cards in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith also hailed Harshal, saying that the Indian fast bowler has all the skills of an all-rounder bowler and that he is a “big asset” to the team.

Gavaskar feels that it is “brilliant” for a skipper to have someone like Harshal to depend on. The 31-year-old, after a series of good games in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been instrumental for the national team since his debut in 2021, picking up 18 wickets in 13 T20Is at an economy rate of 8.13.

“He will be one of the trumps cards because you have Bhuvneshwar, Shami and Bumrah as well,” said Gavaskar, on Star Sports. “Brilliant for a skipper to have someone like him to depend on, he can come in and bowl maybe even in the powerplay where people are now going with change of pace. So yes, he certainly should be part of the group,” he added. 

Harshal Patel is a clear thinker under pressure: Graeme Smith

Meanwhile, Smith said that the 31-year-old is a clear thinker and handles pressure very well. In the recently concluded T20I series between India and South Africa, Harshal finished as the highest wicket-taker with seven wickets in four innings, at an economy rate of 7.23. 

“He has been excellent. Nobody skills in the death overs with the slower balls…but I feel from game 3 he found his right length and picked up wickets and kept the pressure on the South Africans,” said Smith. “He has all the skills as an all-rounder bowler and is a big asset to the team and handles pressure very well and is a clear thinker under pressure,” he added. 

Harshal Patel has been one of the best Indian bowlers in T20 circuit lately, picking up 32 wickets in IPL 2021 and 19 wickets in IPL 2022 at an economy rate of 8.14 and 7.66 respectively for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). His off-cutters and slower deliveries among other subtle variations have earned him the reputation for being a handy death-over specialist.

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