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IPL 7: AB de Villiers is a freak, says Harshal Patel

AB de Villiers was in terrific form against the Sunrisers Hyderabad © PTI (File Photo)
AB de Villiers was in terrific form against the Sunrisers Hyderabad © PTI (File Photo)

May 5, 2014

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bowler Harshal Patel spoke about the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the RCB pace attack, AB de Villiers’ extraordinary abilities and Virat Kohli’s captaincy.

In an interview with iplt20.com, Harshal spoke of AB de Villiers. “What do I say! AB is a freak, man. What he can do on the cricket field, I don’t think anyone else can do that. I have no words to describe his brilliance,” said the 23-year-old.

He continued, “I think he is the most difficult batsman to bowl to. To good batsmen, if you bowl decent yorkers or good deliveries, you can get away. But to AB, if you bowl a perfect yorker, you can still go for six. You are never sure where to bowl to him. You can only bowl and hope for the best.”

Speaking of the pressure he felt coming in to bat at the fall of Mitchell Starc’s wicket, the medium-pacer said, “To be very honest, I was surprised myself that I was under no pressure. AB was batting so well at the other end, I just had to get a single and get him on strike. All that AB told me in that last over was to be balanced and watch the ball and look for a single and run hard. I was pretty confident that once AB got the strike, the game will be over.”

Talking about his bowling, Harshal said, “I was preparing myself all these days and working very hard. I was waiting for that one opportunity to play for RCB this season and I am glad I got my chance tonight. I tried to make the most of it. We did plan to mix it up to Darren Sammy. You can’t bowl two same deliveries to him. He is a strong hitter and even his mishits can go for a six. We didn’t want to be predictable to him.”

When asked about whether bowling to attacking batsmen like Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle in the nets was a good experience for him as a bowler, Harshal said, “Definitely! You just understand the mindset of the batsmen when you have players of that calibre in the dressing room. Yesterday, I was having a chat with AB about how he approaches the game and took a few inputs from him. With such interactions, you get to know the mindset of these batsmen and then you can find out ways to bowl in the right areas. It also helps in planning your over during a match.”

Harshal went on to talk about bowling coach Allan Donald. “I think more than any technical aspects, we talk about the mental aspect and the attitude towards a game. We talk about how we approach the game on a given day and how to be aggressive on the field. The best thing about this group is that we all are aggressive on the field. Allan Donald always emphasises on being aggressive on the field and asks us never to take a backward step even if we bowlers go for runs.”

On being asked who the leader of the young pace attack was, Harshal said, “Mitchell Starc has been the leader of this attack since the beginning of the tournament. He has been bowling brilliantly. He has been bowling well in the beginning of the innings in the powerplay and two overs at the death. He has been the pick of the fast bowlers so far and is very confident. We bowlers exchange a lot of ideas on and off the field.”

Harshal finished by talking of skipper Kohli. “He is a very calm captain and doesn’t put you under pressure. He is very lenient on the field. If you want a field and you want to do something, he will let you do it. He is not someone who will tell you to do something else. He is a fantastic captain,” he said.

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