India pacer Harshal Patel and former South Africa batter AB de Villiers© Instagram
India pacer Harshal Patel said he has been a silent observer of AB de Villiers and the former South African batter has had a massive impact on the fast bowler’s career. De Villiers, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batter, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Friday. Harshal, who was de Villiers’ teammate at RCB, spoke about the star batter and the impact he has had on his game during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. “AB de Villers has had a massive impact on my career. I always have been a silent observer of him. When we were about to start the UAE-leg (IPL), I had asked him about how do I reduce my big overs. He said if the batter hits you on good deliveries, make sure you don’t change the way of your bowling,” Harshal said after India defeated New Zealand in the second T20I.
“That’s something which stayed with me throughout the second leg of IPL and it will stay with me throughout my cricketing career,” he added.
De Villiers played 156 matches for RCB and scored 4,491 runs. He is the second all-time leading run-scorer behind Kohli.
Coming to the second T20I, India sealed the series with a 2-0 lead after registering a thumping seven-wicket win over New Zealand on Friday.
Harshal, who made his India debut, exuded confidence and said he knew he could perform at the highest level. “I knew I could play at the highest level. I could do well at the highest level with both bat and ball. So my process was always driven by my internal drive to constantly get better and actualize my potential. Never at any moment, I felt that the dream is running away from me,” said Harshal in the post-match press conference.
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