Harshal Patel registered figures of 5 for 27 in the opening match of IPL 2021.© BCCI/IPL
Haryana’s Harshal Patel gave the performance of a lifetime when he claimed five wickets against defending IPL champions Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2021 opener yesterday at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Harshal’s five-for in this last-ball thriller came at the expense of only 27 runs as Virat Kohli‘s Royal Challengers Bangalore started the tournament in the best possible manner, a win. Harshal was told well in advance that he will be a death overs’ “pointsman” for RCB, a role he played to perfection in the IPL opener against MI.
Harshal‘s career-best return was one of the two match-winning performances for RCB with the other coming from AB de Villiers.
Harshal Patel Press Conference | MI v RCB
Man of the Match for RCB, @HarshalPatel23 gives us insights into his bowling after a brilliant performance against MI in the first match of #IPL2021 in Chennai.#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #MIvRCB pic.twitter.com/VaRWykTbRe
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 10, 2021
“When I was traded from Delhi Capitals, I was told what role I will play for the franchise,” Harshal said at the post-match press conference on Friday.
He was brilliant at the death and just like skipper Virat Kohli said, Harshal also knew that he was expected to perform the tough job for which he had planned meticulously.
“There were clear instructions that I will be bowling in the last two overs (18th and 20th). That gave me a lot of clarity. It helped me prepare certain plans against batters and kept my preparations concise,” he added.
The pacer explained that change of pace and the slow yorkers were his biggest strength. According to Harshal, he has been bowling those slower yorkers that got rid of Ishan Kishan and Marco Jansen, for almost two seasons now.
“The ball started reversing at one stage. It was important to bowl the yorkers and slower balls… Just that when you don’t get wickets of slow yorkers, people don’t tend to see that. I always had the yorker but earlier couldn’t take it into the game,” the RCB pacer said.
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