‘Cannot look at the opposition all the time’: Harshal Patel on creating history against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021

Harshal Patel became the first bowler in IPL history to take a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians as Royal Challengers Bangalore won a close match by two wickets in the IPL 2021 opener.

Harshal Patel became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians in the history of the IPL. (Image credit: IPL Twitter)

Harshal Patel made an immediate impression in IPL 2021 during the opening clash between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. Rohit Sharma’s team were in a good position at 135/3 in the 16th over. The power of the Mumbai Indians batting, especially in the death overs, made Royal Challengers Bangalore nervous. Patel, who was hit for 15 runs in his first over, came to bowl in the death overs. In the last ball, Patel dismissed Hardik Pandya with a full toss and that changed the momentum totally. 

The right-arm pacer dismissed Ishan Kishan in his next over. Mumbai Indians managed just 24 runs in the next four overs. Patel was the destroyer, taking three wickets in the final over which yielded just one run. Patel took five wickets and history was created. This was the first time any bowler had taken a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians in IPL. This was Patel’s first five-wicket haul and he became the third Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler after Anil Kumble and Jaydev Unadkat to achieve the feat.

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Patel said he was not intimidated by the opposition. “You can’t look at the opposition all the time. All you need to focus on at the top of your mark is your execution and planning and that’s what I did. This is my first five-wicket haul in all the T20s I’ve played. Coming against Mumbai Indians, it feels special,” Patel said.

Death overs execution

Both Virat Kohli and Patel spotted a bit of reverse swing towards the end of the Mumbai Indians innings. In the 16th over, with the ball reversing, Patel decided to execute his plan on a wicket that had low bounce and luckily it came out well.

“When the ball started tailing a bit when I came into bowl in the 16th over, that was my cue. And I executed it brilliantly. It was very clear from the beginning I was going to bowl two overs at the death but today I bowled three. The wicket suited my kind of bowling. That was the reason why Virat left me three overs at the death. It started reversing. When that happens, it is easier to execute the yorkers. My slower balls have been my biggest strength for the past 10 years.,” Patel said.

Top 10 Best Finishers In IPL History

The best part about Patel was that he was finally executing the slow yorker to great benefit. The pacer revealed that he was not so confident in executing the delivery but this has given him tremendous self-belief. “I have been bowling the slow yorker for the last two years. When you don’t get wickets, people do not see that. The variation is not effective if you cannot get wickets. I have been bowling the Yorker for a long time. However, I was not confident of taking it in the game. I put myself in a situation where I can bowl yorkers,” Patel said.

Who is Harshal Vikram Patel?

Harshal Patel is a veteran of the Indian domestic circuit. Born in Sanand, Gujarat, Patel debuted for his state in the 2008/09 Vinoo Mankad Trophy and he immediately made an impact. Patel took 23 wickets at an average of 11.

Patel was included in the India squad 2010 Under-19 World Cup held in New Zealand. After being ignored by Gujarat, Patel made the shift to Haryana where he was state’s key bowler. In the 2011/12 Rani Trophy season, Patel took eight wickets in the quarterfinal and semi-final against Karnataka and Rajasthan. However, Haryana lost in the semi-final against Rajasthan but he had caught the attention of the selectors.

Patel was picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2012 auction. In IPL 2018, Delhi Capitals snapped him. Before the 2021 auctions, he was traded to Royal Challengers Bangalore. One hopes that Patel’s efforts in the last 12 years results in a big performance for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Sportslumo Desk

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