Despite having one of the best seasons a bowler has ever had in the IPL, Harshal Patel wasn’t retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore for IPL 2022, and is back in the player pool for the mega auction.
Harshal Patel snapped up 32 wickets at a staggering average of 14 in IPL 2021. Barring a one-off over against CSK’s Ravindra Jadeja, who took the seamer for 37 runs, Patel became the master at the death and seemed almost impossible for batters to pick him and hit big boundaries off him.
After being less than a prolific seamer for the past seasons, he was terrific in the death overs last year with his change of pace, slower variations, and cutters.
However, in spite of such a scintillating season with the ball, where he solved RCB’s problem of death bowling, the management decided against retaining the Gujarat pacer.
RCB retained Virat Kohli (15 crore), Glenn Maxwell (11 crore) and Mohammed Siraj (7 crore). They even parted ways with Yuzvendra Chahal, RCB’s all-time leading wicket-taker. RCB now have 57 crore left in the purse.
In a recent chat with Crictracker, Harshal Patel revealed that Director of Cricket Mike Hesson told him that the main reason for not retaining him was “purse management” – RCB will be looking for a captain as well in the mega auction as Kohli had stepped down from the captaincy role.
Patel said that he’d love to go back to RCB after a career-changing tournament.
“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,” Harshal Patel told Crictracker.
The IPL 2022 mega-auction will take place in Bangalore on February 12 and 13. Also, the two new teams – Lucknow and Ahmedabad – have been extended the deadline of finalizing their top three picks each to January 31.