Harshal Patel who made an impressive India debut on Friday and won the Player of the Match award for his 2 for 25 against New Zealand in the second T20Is, has revealed that South African legend AB de Villiers had a huge impact on his career. After the Men in Blue completed a 7-wicket win over the Kiwis, Patel disclosed how he went to de Villiers during his Indian Premier League stint at the Royal Challengers Bangalore and asked him how he could reduce the "big overs."
Patel had asked ABD how he could stop the runs especially the overs where he would go for 15-20 in an over. This was when the South African star advised him to stick to his good bowls even if a batter has hit it for a boundary.
Have been a silent observer of AB de Villiers: Harshal Patel
"AB has had a massive impact on my career. I have always been a silent observer of him. Recently when we were starting our campaign in the UAE I asked him, ‘How do I reduce my big overs? I have bowled 12-15 even 20-run overs in the IPL so how should I reduce those?’ So he told me, ‘When a batsman hits your good delivery, you shouldn’t change that," Patel said after winning the award for his performance in the second T20I.
"'You should constantly force the batsman to hit your good deliveries only. If you get hit once on a good delivery then if you change it, the batsman is already expecting that.’ That is something that stayed with me throughout the second leg of IPL and will stay with me throughout my career," he added.
His remark comes after De Villiers announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday.
"Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Whether playing for the Titans, or the Proteas, or RCB, or around the world, the game has given me unimagined experiences and opportunities. I will always be grateful,” ABD wrote in his Twitter post.
In a video shared by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, he could be seen saying that he has become half-Indian over the years.