“Harshal is a concern if…”: ex-Indian cricketer makes big prediction about Pacer | Cricket News

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Team India had a night to forget on Tuesday when they suffered a four-wicket loss to Australia in the first T20I of the three-game series at Mohali. Despite a massive 209 goal, the Rohit Sharma-led side failed completely with the ball as the pacers, including Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya, conceded 150 runs in 12 overs. Of all the pacesetters, Harshal, who made a comeback to the team after being ruled out due to injury, completely disappointed fans when he gave up 49 runs under his spell.

However, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar doubts the bowler would be effective on Australia’s flat and bouncy fields during the T20 World Cup which takes place in October-November.

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“Harshal is someone we’ve seen for a number of years. We’ve seen him in the IPL as well. He’s a man who stands up when the pitch is dry when his slower ball gets very slow and becomes very difficult to play.” Manjrekar told Sports18 that.

“Last time his slower balls were going around 75mph. So it’s not a huge drop in pace. So, Harshal is concerned if the pitch is flat, bouncy and smooth. That’s what you get in Australia. So that’s another thing India will take into account is Harshal’s skills in Australia,” Manjrekar added.

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Earlier this year, Harshal was thrashed on the flat field in Ireland, leaking 54 runs in his 4-over spell. Despite all these factors, the team management has appointed Harshal to the T20 World Cup roster, which will fly to Australia in October.

For the first T20I, it was Hardik’s second T20I half-century that helped India beat 208/6 first. Previously, KL Rahul (55 of 35) and Suryakumar Yadav (46 of 25) had set the stage for India.

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It wasn’t enough, though, as Australia chased the target with four deliveries left.

Cameron Green’s 61 from 30 deliveries at the top of the order and Matthew Wade’s unbeaten 45 from 21 batting at number 7 led the visitors to a 1-0 series lead.

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Axar Patel shone with the ball, taking three wickets for just 17 runs on his four overs, but the rest of the Indian bowlers were taken to the cleaners by the Australian batters.

Both teams will compete for the second T20I match on Friday in Nagpur.

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