IPL 2021: With a five-wicket haul, Harshal Patel creates unique IPL record in MI vs RCB match
There were a lot of star players on the pitch during the opening match of Indian Premier League 2021 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, AB de Villiers, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Glenn Maxwell, Hardik Pandya played the match but the day belonged to Harshal Patel. The 30-year-old returned to the RCB franchise before the season and justified the faith put in him by the team management.
Harshal on Friday became the first-ever bowler to take a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians in the IPL. The right-arm medium bowled picked three wickets in the final over of the Mumbai Indians' innings to restrict the side to 159/9 in the allotted 20 overs.
Harshal dismissed Krunal Pandya, Marco Jansen, and Kieron Pollard in the final over after sending Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya back to the pavilion in the 18th and 16th over respectively.
He was given the man of the match award for his efforts in the opening match of IPL 2021 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Harshal explained after the match that he had been working on Yorkers in the last 15-20 days.
"Yorker is something I'm working on. I'm happy that I was able to execute that. If you're bowling in the death overs, you need to rely a little bit on the yorkers. You can't just keep bowling length balls and slower balls, people are going to line up to that. So it's important to have that one delivery which can get the batsman off strike. It can give you options.
"I've been bowling yorkers for a long time but I wasn't confident to take that into the game. But now, in the last 15-20 days, I put myself in situations where I have to bowl yorkers and I'm now really confident."
Harshal also talked about how the RCB team management had explained his role to him before the season.
"When I was training, they [RCB team management] told me what kind of role I'll be playing in the team," Harshal said.
"Also when we gathered for our first camp, there was a very clear instruction for me that I was going to bowl two overs in the death. That gave me a lot of clarity and confidence to work on my skills and develop certain plans against the batters that I'm going to face in the death overs invariably. That clarity was given to me very early, which made my preparations concise."
Harshal’s heroics and AB de Villiers' masterclass helped RCB defeat MI by two wickets in IPL 2021 opening match at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.
(with ANI inputs)