Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt believes Team India pacer Harshal Patel shouldn’t just rely on his slower balls and should also use the faster delivery more.
He opined that while the right-armer has found success with his slower one, he could struggle in batting-friendly conditions if he doesn’t add more variations to his arsenal.
Butt made these remarks while speaking on his YouTube channel after the T20I series decider between India and Australia in Hyderabad on Sunday, September 25. He explained:
“Harshal Patel is deceptive, but once the batter sees it from his hand, it is going to be tough for him. I don’t know how he is going to counter this issue in the upcoming matches.
“Being a fast bowler, he cannot be overly reliant on the slower ball. He is a good bowler and also bowls the full-pace ball well. He can be more successful if he uses his pace.”
Patel returned to competitive cricket in the recently concluded T20I series against Australia after recovering from a rib injury. He struggled for form in the three-match series, leaking a lot of runs in the first two fixtures.
The seamer was impressive in the final encounter, conceding just seven runs in the final over of Australia’s innings. He had an underwhelming economy rate of 12.37 in the series and managed to pick up only a single wicket.
“Going to be difficult for him on good batting pitches” – Salman Butt’s on India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Team India’s senior pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar also struggled for form against Australia. He was under the scanner as well after the Asia Cup 2022 for failing to deliver in crunch situations.
Butt, in the video, pointed out that Kumar might not prove effective on batting-friendly surfaces and in conditions where there isn’t much swing on offer for the bowlers. He added:
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar once again proved to be very costly. I don’t understand what India are trying to figure out. It’s going to be difficult for him on good batting pitches and when there’s no lateral movement on offer.”
Kumar finished the series with just one solitary wicket. He proved to be costly in the series opener and lost his place in the playing XI for the second fixture in Nagpur.
He was drafted back for the third T20I. However, he failed to make a significant impact, finishing with an economy rate of 13 runs per over.