Harshal Patel, whose maiden five-wicket haul bamboozled Mumbai Indians in the first game, revealed that, after trading him, RCB made it clear that he would be the side’s designated death bowler for the season. Patel further revealed that he’s worked hard in perfecting bowling at the death.
After being traded to Bangalore from Delhi, Harshal Patel’s second-debut for the Reds got off to the first start imaginable as apart from bowling a no-ball first-up, the right-arm seamer conceded 15 runs off his first over. Thus, there was significant pressure when he returned for his second spell in the 16th over but in what was one of the finest displays of death bowling in IPL history, the Haryana all-rounder floored Mumbai with his exquisite skills.
Unleashing the cutters, yorkers and slower balls, Patel remarkably finished with 5/12 off his last 3 overs and set up the game for RCB by helping his team restrict MI to just 159. Patel’s impeccable display - which propelled his side to victory - earned him the Man of the Match award, and speaking post-match, the 30-year-old revealed that as soon as he arrived, RCB made it clear that he would be bowling predominantly at the death.
“Absolutely happy to be back. When they traded me they told me my role was going to be bowling in the death and that is something that I have worked on for a couple of years,” Patel said in the post-match presentation.
“Happy to be here and with the faith they have shown in me. I was just focussed on my execution and the most important thing was to make use of my momentum.”
Patel, in many ways, is a proper journeyman, having made his IPL debut way back in 2012, and thus the 30-year-old described the feeling of picking a maiden five-wicket haul as ‘special’. The Haryana all-rounder, who bowled 3 overs at the death today and is renowned for his pace variations, asserted that he has worked hard on perfecting his death-bowling skills and insisted that he relishes responsibility.
“It is my first fifer in 98 T20s and the fact that it has come against MI makes it all the more special. I have worked a lot on my yorker. I was always good at the length balls and slower balls. I wanted to be a bowler who takes on responsibility and that's what I have been working on for the last few years.”