It’s a very tough ball to hit but he’s only human: van der Dussen on Harshal Patel’s slower ball

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Harshal Patel’s slower ball has earned him accolades and he has used it effectively in the IPL. But on Thursday night, South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen counter attacked the 31-year-old.

“I’ve been watching him bowl in the IPL, he’s been brilliant”, he said in the post-match press conference.

“(He’s) got such a good slower ball. I think the end he bowled from played into my hands because of the short boundary. So I knew after getting those first two sixes away he had to go to his slower ball. And then it’s a matter of picking it and keeping your head still while trying to execute. It’s a very tough ball to hit. He gets a lot of energy in it, gets a lot of dip on it, but again he’s only human. You know that at some stage he is going to miss. As a batter you’ve just got to stay strong and stay patient through those balls that he bowls so well.”

After 15 overs of their chase, South Africa still required 64 runs. Batting at 29 off 30 deliveries, van der Dussen was struggling to find rhythm. He earned a lifeline at 29. The Proteas No.4 scored 46 off his next 16 deliveries and alongwith David Miller guided South Africa to a win in the first T20I.

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van der Dussen heaped praise on David Miller, his partner at the other end who was smashing the ball around.

“I was under a bit of pressure but David, the form that he’s (been) in the IPL, he just brought that in,” said the right-handed batter.

“(He) put the pressure on the bowlers from the start. He played a brilliant innings just to throw me through that phase there. As soon as he hit one of those sixes the momentum sort of started shifting towards us and we knew if we would take it to the end we’d get close.”

READ |India versus South Africa: In a lost cause, India’s T20 batting formula for the future emerges

With their win in the first T20I, South Africa not only ended India’s 12-match unbeaten streak in the format but also won their sixth consecutive game against the hosts across format. Earlier this year the Proteas had won the three-match Test series against India 2-1, making a comeback after losing the first Test. Later they added a three-match ODI series clean sweep to the list.

When asked if he thought South Africa had a chance to beat India in the series, van der Dussen responded by saying, ‘Definitely’.

“We go out to win every game. In recent times we’ve performed well against India. The challenge was to come here and perform well again having performed well in South Africa. The challenge is always to beat a side in their home conditions and then you know you’re on the right track in terms of a team.”

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