IPL 2022: Harshal Patel had some disappointing seasons before finally breaking through.© BCCI/IPL
Harshal Patel has now made a name for himself as one of the best death bowlers and the batters struggle to pluck his slower balls from the hand. Royal Challengers Bangalore rely entirely on the pacer not to concede many runs and also take wickets at crucial moments of the game. The pacer recalls being sent home midway through an Indian Premier League (IPL) season and labeled it “the epitome of rejection”.
“I played 5 games in 2016 and then didn’t play anything. 2017 again, same situation. I was even sent home once. It used to happen much earlier because if you keep a player, there is his hotel room, daily allowances, you have to take him to practice, book his plane tickets I still vividly remember what happened Avinash Vaidya called me in the room and he said “Dan (Daniel Vettori) wants to talk to you. And we stayed with Ritz-Carlton. So he called me to the breakfast room and told me, “We’re not going to see you play at least 4-5 more games, so we’ll send you home. But we’ll call you back. It was the height of rejection, that you weren’t even in the team,” Harshal said in Breakfast With Champions.
“Then I think RCB was knocked out after 4-5 games, we wouldn’t qualify. So I messaged Vettori: ‘Give me a game’. That was the first time I really sold myself to someone. They called me for the last match and we played Delhi in Kotla. The first over I bowled was for like 14-15 runs and then the nerves settled down. I said “I’ve been hit for 15 runs already, how much worse can it still be?” “Then I finally picked three wickets and won the match for the team. I was Player of the Match in that game. And next year was the 2018 auction,” he further explained.
Harshal Patel was traded by Delhi Capitals to Royal Challengers Bangalore before the 2021 IPL season. The pacer took 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 current season, Harshal has collected nine wickets in seven matches, with the best figures being 2/11.
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