Royal Challengers Bangalore seamer Harshal Patel does feel the nerves while bowling in the death overs but says he wants to be in those extreme pressure situations game after game.
He once again enhanced his reputation as a ‘death overs specialist’ in the IPL 2022 Eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants on Wednesday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The 31-year-old, who represents Haryana at the domestic circuit, has been the most improved bowler in the recent past and has cleverly used his variations to get the better of batters in the death overs.
“Whether I would be able to deliver or not, I don't really know, I can't say. But I want to be in those situations, there is no doubt about that,” Harshal said after inspiring the team to a 14-run win over Lucknow Super Giants on Wednesday.
The win took them one step closer to Sunday's summit clash at Ahmedabad as the RCB will next face Rajasthan Royals in the second Qualifier on Friday. “I have been wanting to do that for the past two-three years, I have been doing that for Haryana.
“I wanted to do it at the bigger stage and I will continue to put myself in those situations, sometimes it is going to come off, sometimes it is not going to come off. There will be games where I will end up losing for the team and I am okay with that as long as I don’t shy away from challenges,” he added.
Harshal will lead the bowling challenge alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the upcoming T20 series against South Africa next month. On Wednesday, while defending 208 against Lucknow Super Giants, Harshal bowled a tidy spell of 2-0-8-0 in the middle overs.
But with KL Rahul and hard-hitting Marcus Stoinis looking to break free at the death, the seamer was summoned to bowl the 18th over with 41 runs to defend. “First of all, yes, I was nervous, there is no doubt about that. If you are defending 35 off 18 balls, then you're going to be nervous around it.
“I knew when I gave away six runs without bowling a ball -- gave away those wides, I knew that the wide yorker won't work. So I thought what worked for me in the first two overs, I want to go back to that and give myself the best opportunity to get KL (Rahul) and Stoinis out.
“Fortunately, I got Stoinis out at the boundary,” he said. Harshal, who had bagged 21 wickets for RCB last season, once again has been their bowling backbone and has 19 wickets from 15 matches in this IPL 2022.
“I knew that the majority of my deliveries would be slower balls on this sort of a wicket, because as soon as you gave pace, the wicket made it easy to hit,” Harshal said. He said he got that indication when LSG bowled at them in the first innings.
“Whenever in their bowling when they bowled short or slower balls, it wasn't coming nicely on to the bat, so that was a clue that I want to bowl short and into the pitch -- slow as I can and then mix it up with a good yorker, good hard length ball.”