‘Never looked like he was playing his first game’ – Gautam Gambhir lauds Harshal Patel for impressive debut in Ranchi T20I

‘Never looked like he was playing his first game’ – Gautam Gambhir lauds Harshal Patel for impressive debut in Ranchi T20I

Harshal picked up two wickets on Friday as India won the game to take a 2-0 lead in the T20I series.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir heaped praises on Harshal Patel for putting in an impressive showing on international debut during the second T20I against New Zealand on Friday, November 19. The pacer replaced Mohammed Siraj, who injured his finger, in the Ranchi T20 that the Men in Blue won to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Gambhir, who retired from all forms of cricket in December 2018, said that Harshal didn’t seem like playing his maiden game in the national jersey. The veteran said that playing domestic cricket for a long time and an impressive outing in IPL 2021 helped the speedster to a large extent.

Really happy for him, says Gautam Gambhir

“Harshal Patel was unbelievable. It never looked like he was playing his first game. Very impressed with his effort. That is what 8-10 years of first-class cricket and a fabulous IPL season can do to you.

“You play your first game for India; you know your game much better. You are no more a rookie and if you have done that in IPL, which is high-quality cricket, when you have had that kind of success, you come here and feel you can continue doing the same thing.

“That is what Harshal has done tonight. Really happy for him because he has delivered on the big stage today,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

On Friday, Harshal finished with figures of 4-0-25-2 and picked up the crucial wickets of Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips. On the back of his spell, India restricted the Kiwis to 153 and then won the game by seven wickets with 16 balls left.

Harshal came into the series after bagging the Purple Cap in the 2021 IPL. He also picked up a hat-trick against Mumbai Indians, the five-time IPL champions. Following the game on Friday, Patel talked about how grateful he was after donning the Indian jersey.

“It’s a great feeling playing for the country. I love the game and the ultimate goal for any player is to play for the country, it’s an honour, it’s a privilege and I’m not going to take it for granted,” Patel said.