India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik feels Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Harshal Patel will be a more suitable fit than Avesh Khan to replace Mohammed Siraj in the Indian team for the second T20I against New Zealand, set to be played in Ranchi on Friday (November 19). Karthik believes Harshal’s smart variations and change of pace will be a handful on the slow and low surface in Ranchi.
Siraj is doubtful to feature in the second T20I after picking up an injury in the first T20I. Both Harshal and Avesh were in prime form in the recently concluded 20-20 World Cup. While the former finished as the purple cap holder in the IPL, the latter picked up 24 wickets in 16 matches for Delhi Capitals.
“Both of them are bowling at the best of their careers so far… So you can blindly play any one of them. I personally feel Harshal Patel will be better because obviously, you know, the change of pace in Ranchi [which is a] slightly slow wicket,” Dinesh Karthik told Cricbuzz.
Karthik further opined that if India management want someone with extra pace then they can opt for Avesh Khan. The wicketkeeper batter though admitted that Harshal was bowling in good rhythm during the IPL deserved one opportunity to be looked at.
“Avesh Khan is very good with slower ones as well but Harshal Patel is bowling with such good rhythm that you want to give him the opportunity and see what he brings to the table. But another way you look at it is – you have somebody who bowls 135 in Deepak Chahar and Bhuvi. If you want someone with more pace then the option is Avesh Khan. It’s a good headache to have…” Karthik added
Both Harshal and Avesh are yet to make their international debuts.