According to India’s cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, Harshal Patel’s ability to disguise his variations is the reason the 31-year-old Royal Challengers Bangalore pace bowler has been performing so well in the last couple of Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons.
Patel won the Purple Cap in IPL 2021 after taking 32 wickets in 15 games, his best figures being 5/27 for the then-Virat Kohli-led side. He was bought back by the Bengaluru franchise in the mega auction ahead of the new season for a whopping Rs 10.75 crore. And the right-arm medium pacer hasn’t let his team down, taking 18 wickets in 12 games.
Patel has taken 96 wickets in his IPL career, which began in 2012. He is aiming for a century of IPL wickets this season.
RCB have 14 points from 13 games and can make the last four if they win their final league game against Gujarat Titans by a huge margin. And they’d be counting on Patel to get the job done.
Tendulkar believes Patel has the potential to be an absolute gem for Indian cricket.
The legend described Patel as one of the most potent death over bowlers on his YouTube channel.
“Punjab was able to put on 209 on the board and that is only because of Harshal Patel. His bowling has improved with every match as he is able to disguise his variation beautifully. Well bowled, Harshal and I think that he is one of the leading bowlers in the country when it comes to bowling in the death overs,” said the cricketing great.
With Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone smashing Australian pacers Josh Hazlewood and Mohammed Siraj at will in that game at the Brabourne Stadium on May 13, it was Patel who brought sanity to the game, restricting the opposition to 209 when 240-250 looked a possibility.
Patel bowled at an economy rate of 8.50 and finished with figures of 4-0-34-4, while Hazlewood conceded 64 in four overs and Siraj went for 36 in two overs.
Harshal will have to play a key role in RCB’s final group stage game against Gujarat Titans.
(Inputs from IANS)