Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir heaped rich praises on Harshal Patel’s IPL 2021 exploits with the ball. The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) pacer has snapped up 26 wickets in 12 matches, at a terrific bowling strike rate of 10.23.
He has been incredible in the death overs especially. Gautam Gambhir hailed Patel’s performances versus the strong Mumbai Indians batting attack – he took a five-for in the first leg before taking a hat-trick in the UAE leg against the defending champions.
“Harshal Patel has been the bowler of the season. He has bowled the most difficult overs for his side. Bowling death overs continuously against so many great batters in this IPL, and taking 5 wickets in one match and 4 in the other against MI, shows how successful he has been,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.
Batters only set the team up but bowlers win you matches: Gautam Gambhir
The former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper highlighted that Patel has given a significant boost to RCB’s chances to win their maiden title this year.
He pointed out that RCB have a great batting line-up – and has had in the past too – but their death bowling has always been a concern. This season, Patel has changed that with his outstanding death bowling.
“The main issue over the past few years for the RCB was their death bowling. And Harshal has now taken that responsibility on his shoulders single-handedly. That’s why he has the purple cap as well.
“You can talk about Kohli, Ab de Villiers, or Maxwell, but the truth is batters only set the team up but bowlers win you matches. Because if the batters would’ve won the games, RCB would’ve won IPL 3 or 4 times,” the 2-time IPL winning captain added.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been another key bowler for RCB in the UAE leg as he has tied the opposition batsmen down and picked wickets when the new ball bowlers have failed to make breakthroughs.
“Despite having poor stars with the ball in the powerplay, Bangalore managed to bounce back and win their matches. All the credit goes to Harshal Patel and Yuzi Chahal,” Gautam Gambhir asserted.
RCB became the third team to qualify for the playoffs with a victory over Punjab Kings in their last match. Virat Kohli’s side will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi. They are now aiming for a top-two finish having acquired 16 points in 12 matches.