Haryana fast bowler and the IPL 2021 purple cap holder Harshal Patel has said that he would love to continue playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) season. Harshal was not retained by the RCB franchise and will go into the mega auction that is expected to happen in February.
Harshal displayed his mastery in bowling slower balls and yorkers in the death overs during the IPL 2021 edition, finishing with the most wickets in the season- 32. He also equaled the all-time record for most wickets in a single IPL season, jointly held by Dwayne Bravo, who played for Chennai Super Kings.
Harshal Patel revealed that he was told by RCB coach Mike Hesson that the reason behind him not being retained was ‘purse management.’ But he has wished he wants to play for RCB again if they pick him back in the IPL 2022 auction.
“When I was not retained, Mike Hesson (RCB’s Director of Cricket) called me and said, that it was mainly purse management. They would obviously love to have me back in the team and I too would obviously would love to go back and play for the team because RCB and this season (2021) changed my entire career and my entire life. However, in terms of auction, I haven’t heard from any franchises yet,” Patel told CricTracker.
We Want You To Take This Responsibility And We’ll Back You To Do This: Harshal Patel On RCB Telling Him His Role In The Team
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have had a history of not having very good fast bowlers to bowl in death overs as they had lost matches at home thanks to ineffective bowling in the past as well. Probably this was the reason they traded Harshal from Delhi Capitals and the bowler revealed that the franchise had done their homework and told him that his responsibility was to bowl in death.
“I had never bowled death overs in IPL prior to the 2021 season. So, when they (RCB) traded me (from Delhi Capitals), they had done their homework. They probably saw the ingredients in me to become a good death bowler and they said: “We want you to take this responsibility and we’ll back you to do this.” So, it came from them. I didn’t expect that to happen,” Harshal said.
It was a season where he became the first bowler ever to take a fifer against Mumbai Indians in IPL history and also a hat-trick against the same opposition. This led to Harshal making his India T20I debut shortly against New Zealand at home.