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Harshal Patel could be a much better backup for Hardik Pandya than Shivam Dube

Cricket   |   January 2, 2020


Harshal Patel may not be the most popular name in the Indian domestic circuit but he has been one of the most consistent all-rounders in the T20 format over the last couple of years.

The 29-year-old has been chipping in with consistent all-round performances for Haryana of late. In the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Patel was one among the top wicket-takers and run-scorers as well.

He was the joint second highest wicket-taker during the tournament with 19 wickets to his name at a stunning strike-rate of 13.5 and a decent economy rate of 7.04. His tally of 374 runs was also the fourth most number of runs scored by a batsman in the tournament which came at an excellent average and strike-rate of 31.16 and 165.48 respectively once again.

These performances show how good an all-round asset he is in T20s and his skills could be very useful to the Indian side provided he is given a chance. But it was Mumbai’s Shivam Dube who made his India debut recently.

Dube has already come up with impressive performances. He won India a match against Bangladesh with a three-wicket haul and also went on to score his maiden T20I fifty later in the series against West Indies.

However, if we take a look at his overall T20 numbers, his tally of 23 wickets in 32 T20s at an economy rate of 8.62 isn’t as good as Patel’s overall tally of 95 wickets in 91 T20s at an economy rate of 7.83. Dube is also regarded as one of the most dangerous power-hitters in this format but his overall strike-rate of 142.62 is much lower than that of Patel’s 153.81 once again.

Moreover, Patel is a specialist bowling all-rounder whose batting skills are as good as his bowling ones. But Dube’s bowling is only his secondary skill. In fact, Patel has a vast experience of playing in the Indian T20 League as well. In 43 Indian T20 League matches, he has taken 43 wickets at a strike-rate of 19.4. The 2015 season of the League was the best for him as he claimed 17 wickets in 15 matches at an outstanding strike-rate and average of 15.4 and 19.29 respectively.

So all these facts and numbers go on to show how Harshal Patel deserves a shot in the Indian T20 squad as he has it in him what it takes to be an equally good backup for Hardik Pandya.

Written by: Prasenjit Dey

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