How Harshal Patel came of age

Moving from one franchise to another, Harshal Patel was not able to make a mark for a long time in the IPL.

Now, at 30 years of age, he finally made it big for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Patel has refined his variations and his yorkers and off cutters have befuddled batters across the board in IPL 2021.

This is why he was the holder of the Purple cap when Patel finished the league stage of IPL 2021 with 30 wickets from 14 matches at an average under 15 and an economy rate of 8.40 with one 4 wicket haul and one 5 wicket haul.

He has bowled brilliantly in the middle overs as well as at the death. In the four innings in which he has bowled in the powerplay in IPL 2021, Patel has conceded 29 runs from 24 balls but has been unable to pick up a wicket.

In the middle overs, he has picked up 11 wickets from 156 balls of 14 innings while conceding 193 runs at an economy rate of 7.42. But, his real game has come to the fore at the death where he has picked up 19 wickets. Patel averages 11.47 at the death and has become Virat Kohli’s go-to bowler in the slog overs.

Patel describes the impact that Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli have had on his game.

“Ricky told me that I was brilliant at preparation but needed to get better at performance. That sort of cleared things for me because I always felt I was pretty confident in practice but probably 10% less confident in the match. On the field, I was getting worried about not being able to execute my plans. He talked about visualising what might happen in the game and going through those scenarios in the head. If you are prepared for all those scenarios, then you are more likely to succeed and not succumb to the pressure.”

“If you see what Kohli does, it is pretty exceptional. Where there is a single, you try for two, where there is a double, you push for three. If you are fit enough and can do that over a period of, say, five, seven, ten overs, you end up adding probably another eight to ten runs to your tally. Now that is a massive, massive margin. That’s a margin of victory and defeat. That’s something I have incorporated into my game.”

Saksham Mishra

Justifying hours of watching sports by scribbling down a few logical lines that might just about hold your interest. Was not talented enough to make it as a professional cricketer, so the next best logical option was to enroll in a Mass Communication course, and write about sports instead. Because, what else is there to write about in this world, right?
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