India seamer Harshal Patel said the batters have been trying to anticipate his variations for the past two years but as a bowler, he has to stay one step ahead.
After getting hammered around in the first T20I of the series against South Africa, Patel made a strong comeback in the following two matches. After the game, the 31-year-old said he is not concerned about the batters trying to work out his pattern.
In the first match at Delhi, Harshal was smashed by Rassie van der Dussen for three sixes and a four. In the post-match interview, VDD said he was expecting the seamer to turn to his slower balls. Harshal understands that the more he plays, more information will the opponents have on him, but his job is to outsmart the batters.
“People have been trying to anticipate for the past two years. To be very honest, with every bowler, the longer they play, the more the opposition will realise what their strengths are, what the patterns are, and try to adapt to it. But as a bowler, my job is to stay one step ahead of batters,”he said.
Harshal made a good comeback to pick 1 for 17 in three overs in the second T20I at Cuttack and was even better in the third, snaring 3 for 25 in 3.1 overs at Visakhapatnam.
The pitch at Visakhapatnam was on the slower side, suiting the Indian seamers more. Patel said that he would prefer playing on pitches with a bit of a grip.
“I would certainly prefer playing on slower pitches because it allows you a bit of fighting chance. If you consistently keep playing on pitches like Delhi, it can hamper your confidence a little bit,”he added.
India are trailing by 2-1 heading into the fourth game, which will take place on June 17. After losing the first two games, India bounced back strongly to claim a 48-run victory. The hosts will need to win the fourth T20I at Rajkot on Friday to keep the series alive.