Harshal Patel's bowling abilities, particularly at death, need no introduction. But in the 2nd warm-up game vs Northamptonshire, it wasn't his primary skill that grabbed all the attention, but his batting that caught the opposition off-guard.
Patel came in when the team was reeling at 72-5, played with a mix of caution and aggression, blasted in the end, and scored 54 runs in 36 deliveries.
Powered by his breezy knock, India went on to score a respectable total of 149, which ultimately proved to be too good for the Northamptonshire as they lost the game by a margin of 10 runs. Patel's innings consisted of five boundaries and three maximums.
India vs Northamptonshire - Match Report
Asked to bat first, India were off to a disastrous start losing Sanju Samson in the very first delivery of the match, the successful bowler being skipper Joshua Cobb.
One-down bat Rahul Tripathi, too, did not last long but more trouble awaited India as pacer Brandon Glover sent back Suryakumar Yadav to leave the visitors tottering at 8/3 in the third over.
Glover two wickets in quick succession put Northamptonshire on top before a partnership of 43 runs for the fourth wicket steadied the ship. However, Ishan Kishan, having laboured to 16 off 20 balls, fell to left-arm spinner Freddie Heldreich to bring to an end the brief partnership.
That signalled the arrival of Dinesh Karthik and the seasoned campaigner straightaway got into the groove with a few boundaries and a six.
However, Karthik got out after making a brisk 34 off 26 balls as India slipped to 72 for five at the start of the 12th over.
Venkatesh Iyer scored a sedate 20 off 22 balls, but it was Harshal who did the bulk of the scoring when India needed runs to put up a challenging total. Harshal struck five fours and three sixes during his breezy knock.
For Northamptonshire, Brandon Glover was the most successful bowler with figures of 3/33, while there were two wickets apiece for medium pacer Nathan Buck and Heldreich.
The T20 series vs England will start on July 7 in Southampton and conclude on July 10 in Nottingham.