Sanjay Manjrekar Expresses Concerns Over Harshal Patel In Australia Pitches
By CricShots - Sep 22, 2022 4:16 pm
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Former Indian cricketer, Sanjay Manjrekar has expressed concerns over the effectiveness of Harshal Patel in Australian conditions when India head Down Under for the T20 World Cup, starting October 16. Manjrekar said Harshal’s slower balls might end up in him getting smacked for runs on pitches that have pace and bounce. Harshal Patel returned to the India T20I side after recovering from a rib injury for the ongoing 3-match series against Australia at home.

Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel conceded a lot of runs

Before getting injured, Patel had often been touted as the death-over specialist for India in T20Is. His slower balls have worked wonders as has the ability to deliver it without much change in his bowling action. Harshal, who won the Purple Cap in IPL 2021 with an equaling tally of 32 wickets, has managed to scalp up 23 wickets in 18 T20Is with his economy rate being on the higher side of 8 per over.

Harshal Patel conceded 49 runs in the opening game against Australia and was taken to the cleaners on his return to the T20I side as he gave away 49 runs in his 4-over quota as Australia gunned down a 209-target with 4 balls to spare in Mohali.

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Talking about the pacer, during a chat with Sports18, Sanjay Manjrekar said, “Harshal is someone we’ve seen for a number of years. We’ve seen him in the IPL as well. He’s a guy who rebels when the pitch is dry when his slower ball becomes really slow and becomes very difficult to play.”

Harshal is yet to play T20I cricket in Australia and he was even clobbered on the flat decks in Ireland earlier this year as he gave away 54 runs in his 4-over spell. Notably, Harshal has conceded at over 9 runs per over in 2022 but the team management has backed his skillset and the wicket-taking ability for the T20 World Cup.

Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar

Talking about the same, Sanjay Manjrekar said, “Last time his slower balls were going at around 120kmph. So, it’s not a huge drop in pace. So, Harshal is a worry if the pitch is flat, bouncy, and pacy. That’s what you’ll get in Australia. So that’s another thing that India will be mindful of, the skills of Harshal in Australia.”

Meanwhile, Sanjay Manjrekar also said he is not concerned too much about India’s bowling failures in the recent past, saying Jasprit Bumrah’s return along with Mohammed Shami’s availability will solve the issues.

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Explaining the same, Sanjay Manjrekar explained, “The bowling issues will be easily addressed with Mohammed Shami being available and Bumrah coming back. So, there were really important positives. After the Asia cup, I was slightly disheartened and pessimistic. But after this loss to Australia, I’m not that depressed.”