Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Harshal Patel stole the limelight in the IPL 2021 season opener against Mumbai Indians. The fast bowler picked up his first five-wicket-haul in T20 cricket and it arrived against the defending champions Mumbai Indians. Harshal also became the first bowler to accomplish this feat against MI. Bowling at the death, Harshal wreaked havoc and managed to get the better of several superstars in the MI batting lineup.
Ahead of RCB’s second match of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Harshal Patel interacted with the media in a virtual press conference. During that interaction, the fast-bowler revealed that the lack of interest in him in IPL 2018 affected him deeply, to the point that he almost felt insulted. He also added that he took it as a motivation and made several changes to his game.
“In the 2018 IPL, a lot of people didn’t show interest in me, and that struck me. I took it as an insult because I wanted to become a player who was a match-winner and had a lot of value,” Patel said during the virtual press conference.
Harshal Patel also hit the winning runs off the final ball against Mumbai Indians, sealing a perfect end to an already wonderful night. Things got complicated towards the end when AB De Villiers got dismissed just before seeing through the run-chase but Harshal made sure he’d get the job done.
Speaking about how he can add more value by improving his batting, Harshal said, “I realized that if I worked a little bit on my batting, people would start having faith in my batting, and I could become that valuable player. Batting is something that I have always done well, but I have never focused a lot.
“But if I find my way around any difficulties that I face in batting and scoring runs in difficult situations then I can definitely prove my worth as an all-rounder.”
The bowler also revealed that RCB management trust him to bowl overs in the death. It’s a role, he has been aware of ever since he was traded from Delhi Capitals to RCB.
“When I was traded (from Delhi to RCB), I was told what kind of role I would be playing in the team. When we gathered for our first camp, there were very clear instructions to me that I was going to bowl at least two overs at the death. That gave me a lot of clarity and confidence to work on my skills and develop plans against certain batters that I could face in the death overs in various teams”, Harshal Patel concluded.