Gautam Gambhir is of the opinion that Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) Harshal Patel has been the best bowler at IPL 2021. He stressed on how RCB have historically struggled with death bowling, and how Harshal has been shouldering the responsibility brilliantly in the ongoing season.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have already qualified for the playoffs in IPL 2021, and the Virat Kohli-led side are currently placed at the third spot on the points table. Harshal Patel, who was traded from the Delhi Capitals earlier this year, played a pivotal role in RCB's success with his exploits with the ball. He is currently leading the wicket-takers' list of the season, with 26 scalps at 14.35 from 12 games.
Harshal has been very impressive with his death bowling for RCB and clinched most of his wickets during the final overs in the ongoing season. He grabbed a five-for in the Indian leg of IPL against the Mumbai Indians and continued his good form, bagging a hat-trick against the same opponent in the second phase of the tournament in UAE.
Gautam Gambhir heaped praises on Harshal, stating that he has been the best bowler in IPL 2021. Gambhir further added how death bowling used to be a major concern for RCB in the past, but Harshal Patel has now shouldered the responsibility for the Virat Kohli led side.
"Harshal Patel has been the bowler of the season. He has bowled the most difficult overs for his side. Bowling death overs continuously against so many great batters in this IPL, and taking 5 wickets in one match and 4 in the other against MI, shows how successful he has been.,” Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
Despite having poor stars with the ball in the powerplay, Bangalore managed to bounce back and win their matches. All the credit goes to Harshal Patel and Yuzi Chahal."
"The main issue over the past few years for the RCB was their death bowling. And Harshal has now taken that responsibility on his shoulders single-handedly. That's why he has the Purple Cap as well."
Explaining further on RCB’s performance in the tournament, Gambhir stated that the bowlers play a crucial role in winning matches for the team, and this year, the Bangalore-based franchise have a well-balanced team.
“You can talk about Kohli, Ab de Villiers, or Maxwell, but the truth is batters only set the team up but bowlers win you matches. Because if the batters would've won the games, RCB would've won IPL 3 or 4 times,” Gambhir said.