Harshal Patel once again proved to be expensive with the ball in the third T20I between India and South Africa on Thursday, October 4, in Indore.
The right-arm pacer went wicketless in the fixture. To add insult to injury, he conceded 49 runs from his full quota of four overs, finishing with a dismal economy rate of 12.20.
South Africa posted a mammoth total of 227/3 while batting first, thanks to Rilee Roussouw's maiden T20I century (1008 pff 48). Quinton de Kock (68 off 43) and David Miller (19* off five) also played key knocks.
Harshal's form has been a concern for the Men in Blue as he has struggled for consistency since returning from a rib injury. A number of fans took to social media, expressing concerns over the player's underwhelming form ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022.
Here are some of the reactions:
Bowling has been an area of concern for Team India ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022. The Men in Blue will be without their pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah at the showpiece event as he has been ruled out due to a back injury.
Harshal Patel under the scanner after a string of poor performances
Harshal, who was sidelined with a rib injury earlier this year, returned to action in India's three-match home T20I series against Australia last month. However, it proved to be a forgettable series for the 31-year-old.
He gave away 99 runs from eight overs at an encomy rate of 12.37 in the rubber, picking up just one wicket. His struggles continued in the ensuing series against South Africa.
Harshal had an economy rate of 10 against the Proteas and took just two wickets in three matches. While slower deliveries have reaped dividends for the pacer, his variations have become a bit predictable lately.
Harshal has an impressive track record in the shortest format. He will be hoping to make amends by delivering an improved performance at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this month.