Harshal Patel had a very eventful year in 2021. First, he had an amazing outing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL 2021 season. The right-arm pacer from Haryana equaled the record for most wickets in a single Indian Premier League edition by picking 32 scalps.
He now shares that record with Dwayne Bravo, who achieved this feat for Chennai Super Kings. On top of that, Harshal became the first bowler ever to take a five-wicket haul against five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) when the tournament was played in India and when the second half resumed in UAE, Harshal took a hat-trick against the same opponents.
While it was widely believed that this amazing performance would lead to an India call-up for the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE, it didn’t happen. But the wait was worthwhile, as Harshal Patel finally made his India debut in the home T20I series against New Zealand.
You Are Very Confident And You Know What You Want To Do On The Field: Rahul Dravid Told Harshal Patel
He played two T20Is against New Zealand and picked 4 wickets with the best bowling of 2/25. Making India debut with Rahul Dravid as the new coach was also special for the Haryana cricketer. And he recalled the wise words from former India captain ahead of his debut.
“He (Rahul Dravid) told me: you have come here after playing 10 years of domestic cricket, you obviously know your game really well, you had a brilliant IPL and I don’t want you to do anything different. You are very confident and you know what you want to do on the field and we’ll back you, just be very clear in your head and enjoy the moment,’” he told Crictracker in an interview.
Harshal Patel, who won the Purple Cap for most wickets in IPL 2021, also talked about playing with international cricketing superstars like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in the RCB.
He said: “It’s pretty normal to be honest. I don’t get star-struck. Even I remember my first year in IPL, I was never star-struck. I just admire them for what they bring onto the field, the kind of people they are, the level of skill they have and their ability to stand up in pressure situation and say: ‘I am going to bring the team out of this difficult situation.” That’s what I have learnt from those two guys.’
Harshal Patel will be hoping to get picked by the RCB side again when the mega IPL 2022 auction takes place, reportedly in February this year.