IPL 2022: Harshal Patel had several disappointing seasons before finally making his breakthrough.© BCCI/IPL
Harshal Patel has now made his name as one of the best death bowlers and the batters struggle to pick his slower balls out of the hand. Royal Challengers Bangalore completely rely on the pacer to not concede many runs and also take wickets at crucial junctures of the game. The pacer has recalled how he was sent back home midway an Indian Premier League (IPL) season and he labelled it as “epitome of rejection”.
“I played 5 games in 2016 and then didn’t play anything after that. 2017 again, the same situation. I was even sent home once. This used to happen a lot earlier because if you are keeping a player, there’s his hotel room, daily allowances, you’ve to take him to practice, book his flight tickets. I vividly remember what happened. Avinash Vaidya called me in the room and he said ‘Dan (Daniel Vettori) wants to talk to you. And we were staying at Ritz-Carlton. So he called me to the breakfast area and told me ‘We don’t see you playing for at least 4-5 more games so we’re sending you home. But we’ll call you back. It was the epitome of rejection, that you aren’t even in the team,” Harshal said on Breakfast With Champions.
“Then I think after 4-5 games, RCB was knocked out, we were not going to qualify. So, I messaged Vettori saying ‘Give me a game’. That was the first time I actually sold myself to anyone. They called me for the last game and we were playing Delhi at Kotla. The first over I bowled went for some 14-15 runs and then the nerves settled. I said ‘I have already been hit for 15 runs, how much worse can it get?’. Then I ended up picking three wickets and won the game for the team. I was Player of the Match in that game. And then next year was the 2018 auction,” he further stated.
Harshal Patel was traded by Delhi Capitals to Royal Challengers Bangalore before the IPL 2021 season. The pacer went on to take 32 wickets and he was the winner of the Purple Cap.
RCB then bought Harshal for Rs 10.75 crore in the IPL 2022 mega auction in Bengaluru.
In the ongoing season, Harshal has picked up nine wickets in seven games with his best figures being 2/11.
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