Harshal Patel was the star of the opening night of the Indian Premier League, as he took his first five-wicket haul in the tournament. Incidentally, this was also the first time when a bowler took five wickets in an innings against Mumbai Indians in IPL history.
Patel was named the man of the match as RCB secured a two-wicket win.
In India TV’s post-match show ‘Cricket Dhamaka’, the experts lauded Patel on a supreme effort — especially during the death overs.
“He is a very hard-working player. What makes him stand apart is that he is an all-rounder who can also contribute up the order in the batting lineup,” Anjum Chopra said on Cricket Dhamaka.
“The uncapped and domestic players will have limited opportunities to make an impact. It is vital for such players to make the most of the chances, and Harshal Patel has done exactly that. He has ensured that he is not going out of the XI for at least two games,” the former Indian women’s captain further said.
Former India pacer Rudra Pratap Singh, meanwhile, noted that Patel has worked on his yorker skills, and executed them brilliantly in the match against MI.
“It is important to have variation in the shortest format. When you can execute the yorker, there is no better variation. He conceded only one run in the final over, took three wickets of which two were yorkers, which shows the work he has done on this particular skill. His execution was brilliant,” said the T20 World Cup-winning former fast bowler.
India’s former spinner Maninder Singh said that Patel’s final over was the difference between MI reached 175, and eventually finishing with 159/9.
“Harshal Patel was the gamechanger. MI looked like scoring 170-175 at one point. The final over was the turning point in the match. It would’ve been very difficult for RCB if the MI had reached 175,” said Singh.