A star-studded bowling line up of Royal Challengers Bangalore that comprised the likes of Mohammed Siraj, the man who shook Australia inside out in the latter’s den, Kylie Jamieson, the latest bowling sensation in the cricketing sodality, Yuzvendra Chahal, one f the most unplayable spinners in the preceding edition of IPL and yet the man who shot himself to glory was a young, unheralded and a nondescript character called Harshal Patel.
When he was brought in to bowl the first over, he was battered left and right that saw him being slain for 15 staggering runs. An unceremonious overture that one would like to forget in any forms of cricket was flipped when Kohli summoned him for his second spell, he started casting an inexplicable form of magic that seemed absolutely unbreakable to the defending champions.
It was in the 16th over that he was successful in making others comprehend his utility. A man of medium pace but clinical accuracy kept on bugging Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan. After bowling three excellent deliveries, he went haywire from his coveted line and was nicked in cheeky fashion through the third man. Patel got fortunate with a low full-toss that was miscued by Pandya. Patel finally got his revenge as he was successful in tempting Pandya to swivel his bat against a low full-toss which was much slower than the last delivery and went on to rattle to a flummoxed Pandya’s pads.
W W . W . 1W
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) April 9, 2021
As time whizzed by and the surface seemed to offer a lot more movement, Patel’s next victim was a set Ishan Kishan who was again beaten by pace. A toe-crushing yorker was decked on to Kishan’s pads and the southpaw completely misread it. Despite the umpire waving a not-out in the ground, the decision was overturned when Kohli and company went upstairs.
However, it was the final over that set his numbers on absolute fire. He started the 20th over with a slow ball to Krunal Pandya, whose frenetic swing could only travel as far as to Dan Christian in the deep. Patel followed it up with another back of length delivery that was even slower than the first and completely caught Pollard off his guard, whose decision to strike a late blow ended up in the safe arms of Washington Sundar at deep mid-wicket.
Young Marco Jansen became his fifth victim that penned history for Harshal Patel as he became the first bowler in the history of IPL to get a fiver against Mumbai Indians. A picture-perfect yorker went on to clatter Jansen’s timbre and that left the Indians reeling in agony.
It was that brilliant over at the end that saw Patel slipping a solitary run, claiming three wickets with the cherry and compelling a run-out in the last ball that applied screeching brakes to what could have been 8-10 crucial runs in the end for the Indians.
A youngster who made his way past such a hefty line-up, even surpassing the big name of Navdeep Saini who has left quite a salient impact against Australia, penned history straightaway. In fact, such inspiring is Patel’s story that he was first noticed in 2018 when he was bowling unplayable deliveries to Virat Kohli in the nets. They say that diligence does pay off and if someone could have manifest it in the best ways possible, he is no other than Harshal Patel.