IPL 2021: “I realized whatever I was offering the market wasn’t interested”


Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder Harshal Patel has revealed the backstory of his sensational come-back in the IPL. Harshal Patel recalled feeling that he wasn’t offering the right skills to the franchise ‘market’ in 2018 which led to a change in mindset and turned things around completely.

In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Harshal Patel asserted that for exceptional success, one needs to be brave enough to fail ‘spectacularly’, despite what others say and believe in.

“It is all individual work, right? It is your journey, people will come and lend you a hand or give you a few words of confidence but at the end of the day, you have to put in the work, be willing to fail spectacularly. If you are brave enough to do that, then only you will get exceptional success. That is what I realized after the last season. In 2018 also, not getting a bid other than Delhi was a kick in the stomach. I realized whatever I was offering the market wasn’t interested. I needed to put myself in a position to win games for the team, which I was doing consistently at the domestic level. I just needed to have that change in mindset. That is what has happened probably in the last year-and-a-half,” said Patel.

Harshal Patel has a comeback story like no other in the IPL. From playing just 7 matches combined in 2019 and 2020 for 5 wickets to featuring in all 7 games of the first half of 2021 and picking up a chart-topping 17 wickets, is no mean achievement.

These 17 wickets came at a career-best average of 15.12 and a strike rate of 9.88. The Haryana pacer’s dexterity in the death overs made him his captain’s ace weapon, and their opponents’ most dreaded adversary.

Harshal Patel talks about chats with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers

Harshal Patel alongside AB de Villiers (L) and Virat Kohli (R) during IPL 2021
Harshal Patel alongside AB de Villiers (L) and Virat Kohli (R) during IPL 2021

Harshal Patel also discussed his on-field conversations with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. As for the former, Harshal Patel revealed a text message at the start of the season that made him feel confident about the RCB stint. He also hailed Kohli for backing the bowlers to freely execute their plans in pressure situations.

“The moment I was traded, Virat sent me a message, “welcome back, you are going to play here”. That made a big impact in my confidence and I realised this is a team where I can finally showcase all my skills. He gives you the space to do your thing. Even if you don’t execute at times he understands better than anybody that on a batter’s day, if they get hold of a bowler, you are going to go for runs. Whenever we are unable to execute, or we stray from our plans, when we sit for the review the only talk is about what do we do to stay on the path, how do we stay in the mindset to execute more often than not. We don’t let any other noise come into that environment,” said Patel.

Harshal Patel added that the chats with AB de Villiers were succinct and insightful.

“Who better to tell you about what’s going on than AB? He doesn’t talk a lot, he will let you do your own thing but if he finds you are out of depth or struggling, he will come up to chat. Before I come into bowl, he has probably seen seven or eight overs; he will give small pointers on what the wicket is doing, what the batters are trying to do, what are the deliveries that will work. It is always short and concise chat,” Patel signed off.






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