Harshal Patel (BCCI/ANI Photo)
NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli’s message to Harshal Patel when he was traded to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made him realise that this is a team where he can finally showcase his skills, the fast bowler said.
Patel, who was traded to RCB by the Delhi Capitals before the 2021 Indian Premier League season started, was a revelation in the seven matches that he played. Before the tournament was indefinitely postponed, Patel was the runaway leader in the Purple Cap standings with 17 wickets.
“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,” Patel told the Hindustan Times.
Patel had his fair share of bad days in the short season, particularly when Ravindra Jadeja smashed 37 runs off him in a match between RCB and Chennai Super Kings.
“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 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.
Patel also said that AB de Villiers is someone who gives bowler-specific pointers based on what the veteran South African had seen so far in the match.
“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 in to 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 a short and concise chat,” Patel said.