After playing just two games in last year’s Indian Premier League, Delhi Capitals’ all-rounder Harshal Patel is looking to make a mark as his franchise gears up for the IPL 2020 in UAE. Patel fractured his right hand last year and had to leave the tournament midway.
“It was pretty difficult for me to leave the tournament half-way because I think I was in good touch and of course I wanted to do well. IPL is the biggest tournament for me because I don't play international cricket, so it was really difficult, and hard to take,” the 29-year-old was quoted as saying in a press release issued by the Delhi Capitals.
Having had a very successful Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy late last year, where he performed well with both bat and ball, Harshal said he has confidence in his skills and is looking forward to making an impact. “I have more confidence than I have ever had in my skills. I have worked harder on my batting and I am just not that pinch hitter anymore who would just hit boundaries here and there. I know how to finish games and have become more sophisticated that way. Similarly, in terms of my bowling, I am more aware of what I can and cannot do. So that puts me in a very good position ahead of this season.”
Patel is not leaving any stone unturned as he knows at 29 this could be his make-or-break year in order to get into the national team.
“I have pushed pretty hard in these 10-12 days in training, and my skills are up to the mark - my body feels good and now it's all about getting into that competitive frame of mind and enjoying the match,” said Patel.
On being asked about Capitals’ preparation so far, he said the team is looking good and ‘everybody's executing their duties well, and looking very fresh.’
He added that playing in a neutral venue can be tricky as they now lack the home crowd which can be vociferous at the Feroz Shah Kotla, now known as Arun Jaitley Stadium.
“I think every situation comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Having neutral venues will take away that home advantage for sure, so it's going to be challenging for teams because you can't rely on one brand of the wicket. We have seen in the past that teams like to prepare spin-friendly pitches when they have a spin-heavy squad and that enables them to win that way,” he signed off.